Tower closes; park remains open during COVID-19 situation

Tower closedThe Foundation Park Conservancy met virtually on the morning of Monday, March 23, to discuss events and items related to Ariel-Foundation Park and the current COVID-19 situation. Public health is a priority for park leadership and is a major reason for the park’s existence.


Because Ohio Health Department Director Amy Acton’s executive orders closed all playgrounds, park leaders felt it necessary to close Rastin Observation Tower until further notice as it features a turnstyle entrance and metal materials much like many playground surfaces.

As stated in Acton’s orders in point 5c, however, the park will remain open for people to walk, bike, hike, and spend time outdoors, while maintaining an appropriate distance. With 250 acres, park leaders believe Ariel-Foundation Park is the perfect location to break up the monotony of staying at home, to get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise which contributes to overall mental and emotional health. The public is also encouraged to check out the trails at Brown Family Environmental Center and the other Knox County Park District locations (

One event, the Face-2-Face fundraising concert on Thursday, June 11, has been cancelled thus far. The board is continuing to monitor the ongoing situation and may make further cancellations/postponements to May/June 2020 free summer concert series dates as facts become more defined over the next few weeks.

Park Info



 Ariel-Foundation Park, located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, is a 250-acre civic park that offers a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors of all ages.

Visiting Hours

Ariel-Foundation Park is officially open April 1 through November 15. Some areas of the park are accessible to pedestrians year-round. Daily hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. There are no admissions or parking fees. The Rastin Observation Tower, park museum, picnic pavillions, trails and other park features are free and open to the public. The Rastin Observation Tower is open during winter months, as long as weather allows.

Contact Us

Foundation Park Conservancy
P.O. Box 644, Mount Vernon, OH 43050
[email protected]

Mount Vernon City Parks Department
1700 Old Delaware Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050
[email protected]

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