By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Despite several public meetings about the new downtown green space in Bowling Green, many citizens complained that they weren’t given an opportunity to express their desires for the proposed town square.
To remedy that perceived slight, an email account has now been set up to take suggestions. Anyone wanting to submit ideas for the 1.7 acres at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets can now email their suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Dick Edwards said he spoke recently with representatives at Poggemeyer Design Group about the two main elements already planned for the town square – an arched entryway and a pavilion. The exact designs are still being worked on, but will consider the historic character of the area, and will work to preserve as much green as possible. Other necessities include bike racks, drinking fountains, benches, sidewalk lighting and trash receptacles.
There are many other decisions under consideration that will be needed to turn the site into Wooster Green – a town square for the Bowling Green community.
First, what are the protocols for using the site? Second, how can at least $300,000 in donations be raised for the space? And third, how can the entire community be engaged in the project?
The steering committee for Wooster Green met Thursday afternoon to make progress on those considerations.
“We definitely need clarification on when and how the site can be used,” said Bob Callecod, co-chair of the promotions committee.
The green space has already been used for several public rallies, and the steering committee envisions it being used in the future for events like Friday afterwork gatherings, concerts, perhaps farmers’ markets or flower shows. But decisions must be made on whether the space can be used for such events as weddings, the mayor said.
“A site like this has tremendous potential for the businesses,” Callecod said.
The mayor suggested that other communities with similar sites be consulted.
Money is also an issue, with a goal set to raise at least $300,000 through donations. More will probably be required to meet needs as they arise at the town square.
“We should set something aside for future needs,” said Sharon Hanna, chair of the fundraising committee.
Several groups in the community will be approached for donations, then letters will be sent to residents throughout the city. “We want everybody to take some ownership of this project,” Hanna said.
Donations will all go through the Downtown BG Foundation, not the city, the mayor stressed.
The Wooster Green Steering Committee includes: Dick Edwards as chairman; Dick Newlove and Nadine Edwards as honorary co-chairs; Mike Aspacher as non-voting representative of City Council; Bob Callecod and Ann-Marie Lancaster as co-chairs of the publicity/marketing committee; Jeff Crawford representing the city parks and recreation board; Sharon Hanna as chair of the fundraising committee; Lloyd Triggs and Lori Young as co-chairs of the design committee; Larry Nader, a neighbor of the site, and Michael Penrod, director at Wood County District Public Library.