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A New Metro Park Is Coming To Columbus

When it comes to naming a Metro Park, it’s no simple task.

The moniker must reflect the essence of the place, paying homage to the flora, fauna, and local community. But after much contemplation, the decision has been made, and the newest addition to Columbus’ outdoor spaces is set to open its doors as Bank Run Metro Park, a name that carries historical significance and promises an unconventional park experience.

In 2020, the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks acquired the property from the YMCA known as the Hoover Y. However, naming this new park wasn’t a straightforward affair. Over the past two years, there was much debate over what to call it. Suggestions ranged from “Big Belly” to “River Bend,” but the one thing the park planners were certain about was avoiding names with “Woods” or “Scioto,” as these designations were already well-covered in the Metro Park system.

Bank Run Metro Park aerial view, with imposed art for 5K trail and proposed parking.

After careful consideration, the name “Bank Run Metro Park” was chosen to christen this unique property that’s on the cusp of welcoming outdoor enthusiasts. The name “Bank Run” might seem peculiar at first glance, but it carries a rich history tied to the land.

This term refers to the type of rock extracted from the quarry on this property. Bank run material consists of unprocessed rock and gravel collected from riverbanks, often used as a foundational layer for construction projects.

However, “Bank Run” is more than just a geological term; it symbolizes the foundation of something new and exciting. Bank Run Metro Park isn’t going to be your average Metro Park. Instead, it’s going to be an event space like no other.

Views of the Walnut Creek floodplain area and of the creek at Bank Run Metro Park. Photo Melissa Turpening

Visitors can anticipate a dynamic calendar filled with various events, and it’s already on the map as a prime location for hosting 5K runs along the scenic banks of Big Walnut Creek. The park’s name mirrors its character, an embodiment of movement, activity, and community engagement.

Bridge and existing trail at Bank Run Metro Park. Photo Meoissa Turpening | Path from the grass oval goes down hill to the Big Walnut Creek floodplain. Photo Virginia Gordon

What sets Bank Run Metro Park apart from other parks in the system is its primary focus on serving as a versatile event space. This park isn’t just about serene strolls through the woods or peaceful picnics (although there will be ample green space for those too). It’s about dynamic events, community gatherings, and making memories that stand out.

You can follow along for more updates at the park by visiting the Metro Parks website, or by keeping an eye on Facebook and Instagram!