Ridge St. park ideas offered

Playground equipment, keeping the "ridge" and elimination of most parking spaces are among many
recommendations Bowling Green’s Department of Parks and Recreation is making for the former Ridge
Elementary property.
The recommendations are based on comments from a Feb. 24 public forum and 38 written comments received
during a comment period that ended March 29.
Asbestos removal from the retired school building began last week. Demolition is expected to be
completed, the building site filled and leveled and grass planted by July. The city purchased the
building and three-acre parcel last fall from BG City Schools for $25,000.
The report indicates that when the building is removed, soil will be needed to fill the hole left by the
lower level; thus, the hill will be diminished to fill in the lower level where the building stood. Any
remaining slope from south to north will be left and seeded in grass to facilitate its use as open play
Director of Parks and Recreation Dr. Michelle Grigore has forwarded the report to Municipal Administrator
John Fawcett, who has the final approval under city zoning regulations. She said the report was also
sent to city council, and "nearly all have responded and said to release the report as-is."

(Click here to
download the full report
Grigore said the public strongly supported adding play equipment to the park. She estimates the cost at
$40,000 with another $15,000 needed for safety surfaces and borders. The equipment would be added as
park budget funding allows. A drinking fountain would be added in this area.
Public comment was mixed on existing parking, but the recommendation is to keep five spaces at the
northwest corner and five spaces in the southeast corner. No overnight parking would be allowed. Other
parking would be removed and seeded with grass. The report notes that the city has already dedicated 20
feet off the western side of the property to allow homeowners access to their garages.
Other recommendations:
• Name the site Ridge Street Park. City council has the final say on this.
• Designate the south side of the park from the top of the ridge to Ridge Street for a tree lawn with a
few trees to be added near the playground equipment to provide some shade.
• Remove the basketball hoop and paved area because it is in poor condition and would open up more green
• Do not install grills, picnic tables or a gazebo, but consider benches.
• Retain the fence on the north side of the property and the backstop and baseball field , but remove the
track. Add bicycle racks to the north and south ends of the park.
• The nearly one-acre space in the middle of the park would remain open with no designated use.
• Allow no dogs, to eliminate problems with animal waste, noise and bite issues in the three-acre park.
The report notes dogs are welcome in larger BG parks.
• No community gardens at this time.
• If possible, salvage the school sign and some bricks from the building to use for a trail into the
Grigore praised the turnout and number of people who took the time to comment. She suggested the
department might want to rethink the way small pocket parks can affect neighborhoods and residents. The
effort underway on updating the city’s future land use master plan might help this effort, she said.