Kettering, OH – In early 2011, Pondview Park underwent a $760,000 upgrade to create Ohio’s first self-guided environmental park designed to help people of all abilities experience nature. The renovations were extensive and included the addition of a fully accessible trail system, six learning pods, scenic overlooks and observation points, a forest growth learning site, prairie restoration and a butterfly garden.
The newly renovated park opened to rave reviews in April of 2011, and has quickly become a destination point for families, class field trips, and individuals of all abilities. $426,000 of the original funding was made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to The Dayton Foundation, and in May, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced that it was allowing select organizations to apply for additional funding. This funding is to be used for site upgrades that were not originally addressed with the initial construction, or to resolve issues that were identified post construction.
The Dayton Foundation applied on behalf of the Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department and was awarded a follow-up grant of $106,000. This funding will be utilized for site upgrades and improvements. The plans will be created using universal design elements to keep the integrity of the initial concept and ensure that individuals of all abilities will have full access to the entire park.
“We are extremely thankful to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Dayton Foundation for enabling us to make these additional renovations” Stated Marybeth Thaman, Director Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts “The initial project has been so well received by the community and we are pleased to be able to further enhance this already amazing facility.”
The project is currently in the design stages with an anticipated completion date of Fall 2011.
Thanks to a grant from the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Healthy Ohio, Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction, Violence and Injury Prevention Program, and Wright State University Center for Healthy Communities AHEC Region IV, the City of Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department will offer Whole Body Health, an evening dedicated to educating women, ages 13-44, about healthy practices that contribute to their physical and emotional health.
The Kettering Parks Foundation (KPF) was awarded a $41,804 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Specialized Transportation Program for Elderly and Persons with Disabilities. The grant will be used to purchase a new wheelchair accessible vehicle for the Charles I. Lathrem Senior Center’s (CIL) Senior Transportation Program. The new van, which is to be purchased in early 2009, is expected to make more than 3,000 trips next year and will replace an existing non-accessible vehicle.
In 2007, the Senior Transportation Program provided transportation to nearly 500 seniors to essential appointments such as: medical, grocery shopping, banking, pharmacies, visits to family in nursing homes and hospitals. Using wheelchair accessible
buses and cars operated by paid staff and trained volunteers, the program provides safe and reliable transportation to aide in maintaining the health and independence of area seniors. The wheelchair accessible buses are also used to transport individuals with disabilities involved in the Kettering Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department (PRCA) programs.
The KPF provides funding for special programs and projects of the PRCA Department. Through funds raised from community donations, special events, grants and corporate contributions, the KPF is able to provide much needed support to ensure that Kettering
residents have beautiful parks and enriching recreational opportunities. The KPF strives to be a sustainable non-profit foundation inspiring philanthropy and a passion for the parks and recreational resources in Kettering. They are committed to ensuring that individuals, organizations and corporate leaders see the value of bridging the gap between identified needs and available public funds for Kettering parks, programs and facilities.
For more information call (937) 296-2454.
The KPF, in partnership with Dor-Wood Optimist Club, the City of Kettering and the Kettering City Schools, built an observation deck at Pondview Park. The deck won the Future of Optimism Winner for the 2006-2007 years. The goal was to provide a safe way for residents to view wildlife and to provide recreation opportunities in the form of fishing and hiking. Members cleared land, built pathways and trails and procured funding to build an observation deck. Dor-Wood members cleared brush and assisted in building pathways. The City provided manpower and the necessary equipment. Kettering teachers provided guidance and a curriculum for the Living Learning Lab. The Living Learning Lab has created a beautiful educational environment for more than 3,000 Kettering student visitors and community residents. As a result of their work, the Club has become recognized in the community and received a number of new members!