COVID thank you signWe want to say a big THANK YOU to all of Knox County's first responders and essential frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Purchase an 18x24" yard sign to personally say thank you to those who have assisted Knox County in these important roles. Signs are being sold at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market (501 S. Main Street at the CA&C Depot) Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


  • SIGNS: $10 each
  • SIGN with Rastin Tower Lighting to honor a first responder or essential worker: $25 each (please note your lighting date will need to be confirmed on our calendar)


1. Click on the Square logo below to pay by credit card. Signs will be available for pickup at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market (we are not mailing them).

2. If you are purchasing the option to receive a Rastin Tower Lighting, use this link to fill out the Tower Lighting Form with your details. This offer is for a one-color, one-night Tower lighting rental only.

Click to purchase through Square.

Kids exploring a parkHere are some educational items, activities, worksheets, and resources that you and your family can explore while at the park! More are being added on a regular basis.


Ohio Frog Species - listen to their calls and learn more about each species

Life as a Tree - Did you know you can read the story of a tree's life? By looking at a tree's rings, you can figure out way more than just how old it is! Jessi and Squeaks are here to show you what to look for next time you're on a hike and find a tree stump.

Pennvernon Glassmaking Technique - Check out this detailed flow chart illustrating the Pennvernon "Ribbon of Glass" technique used to create plate glass at the former PPG factory located where the park is now.

The Tree of Life Labyrinth at Ariel-Foundation Park

Mammals you might see at the park

Rastin Tower/smokestack

National Park Foundation Virtual Tours/Visits

National Park Trust Create Your Own Adventure with Buddy Bison

Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly and the Importance of Milkweed - Thanks to the Knox County Shade Tree Commission, lots of milkweed has been planted at Ariel-Foundation Park. This video helps outline its importance to butterflies, specifically the Monarch.

National Park Service Junior Explorers Programs - Programs for Cave Scientist, Let's Go Fishing, Paleontologist, Night Explorer, Sounds Explorer, and Underwater Explorer.



Ariel-Foundation Park Scavenger Hunt

Making an Acorn Whistle - Not only is this a fun skill to learn, it could be useful in an emergeny if you find yourself lost in the woods.

Tree Detective - What kind of tree branch is this? In this science worksheet, your child will follow the clues to determine which types of trees are shown (3rd/4th grade).

Find & Count Pond Creatures

"Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert - collect leaves from the park and build your own leaf man or leaf creatures

Resources for Earth Day (April 22) activities

Coloring Pages

Photosynthesis - Introduce the concept of photosynthesis to your first grader with this simple coloring page. The picture diagram shows what happens when photosynthesis occurs. When your first grader finishes learning about the process, they can have fun coloring in the picture.

Daffodils - Celebrate the coming of spring and with a daffodil coloring page, complete with a diagram so your little blossom can learn the parts of a flower as she colors! Daffodils can be found throughout the park and along the banks of the Kokosing River near the historic viaduct.

Bugs! - Kids who love creepy, crawly things will truly enjoy this insect coloring page. Using their colorful imaginations, kids bring an ant, ladybug, dragonfly, plants, and more to life, exercising their fine motor skills as they color! They also get a glimpse of insects in their natural habitat.


Several of the worksheets and activities found on this page are provided by,,, and Ariel-Foundation Park is not resposible for any advertising found on these external sites.





This is a reminder that park water fountains have been turned off due to COVID-19. If you are visiting the park, please consider bringing your own water.


tower opensRastin Tower will open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 10. Guidelines include:

  • No more than 10 people at a time, mechanically monitored by the turnstile gate.
  • We encourage everyone to wash hands or use sanitizer after climbing the tower.
  • Please attempt to maintain social distancing as much as possible while climbing.


Park National Bank Pailion and Kiwanis Pavilion are still closed until further notice.

Expectations for personal use of small picnic pavilions:

  • No gatherings over 10 people
  • Use a tablecloth and/or disinfect the table and bench when done.
  • Place trash/recycling in propre bins or take it with you.
  • If these expectations cannot be met, small pavilions will be closed.


July 4 festivities have been cancelled.

Summer concert series and Rastin Challenge have been cancelled. Read more...

Park restrooms will open as of tomorrow, 5/12/20. They will be sanitized a minimum of two times daily.

3/24/20: Important COVID-19 updates from the park:

Our community's health is important to us.


Rastin Observation Tower will be closed starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24. Under Ohio Department of Health director's executive orders, playgrounds are to be closed. With a turnstyle and built from similar materials, we have decided to close the tower until further notice. The park, however, will remain open and people are encouraged to enjoy the outdoors, while maintaining appropriate social distance.

The Foundation Park Conservancy Board is in the process of discussing the 2020 Free Summer Concert Series. At this point, please be aware that some concert dates may/will be affected. Whether that means cancellation or postponement, we are uncertain just yet. We continue to monitor the ongoing situation and will make decisions as we draw closer and as facts are more defined. We will be communicating with sponsors soon. Other events, such as May's Kids to Parks Day, are also being discussed.

We appreciate our dedicated volunteers who spend countless hours making the park a great place to be every summer. While the Clock House would normally open the first weekend of May, we are delaying that decision for a few more weeks until we know more about how COVID-19 is going to play out. Thank you for your patience as we work through many issues affecting our upcoming season.

Park staff are working diligently with those who may have rented a park venue for a private event. We will be in touch with you at least 4 weeks prior to your scheduled event to discuss your options. Our goal is to reschedule where possible. Again, we appreciate your patience as we work through this process.

You are allowed to be outdoors, in fact, it is encouraged (see point 5c of the order)! Spending time outdoors is good for your physical and mental health, which we all need to nurture during this challenging time. You are encouraged to get out (at an appropriate distance) and walk, hike, bike AND discover your local parks. We are proud to offer more than 250 beautiful acres for you to explore. We also encourage you to check out 7 miles of trails at the Brown Family Environmental Center and our other Knox County parks.

3/19/20: From the National Parks & Recreation Association:

covid19 parks update

03/18/20: Community Resources:

From the Office of Governor, Mike DeWine
From Knox Public Health
From the Office Lisa Lloyd, Program Director
Knox County Foundation
From the Office of Mark Maxwell, Director
Knox County Emergency Management Agency
From the Office of Erin Gatto, Anthem Chamber Benefits Plan Liaison
From the Office of Kelly Carey, Workforce Specialist,
Ohio Department of Job & Family Services


03/16/20: Latest Info From Knox Public Health

The following webiste contains the lastest information from Knox Public Health regarding COVID-19.


Ohio Department of Health COVID Hotline: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH
Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.


stock image disinfectant bottle

03/11/20: Ariel-Foundation Park Using Enhanced Cleaning Measures

Ariel-Foundation Park is taking proactive precautions regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Urton Clock House, located at the park (10 Pittsburgh Avenue), serves as a polling location for precincts 1B and 1C on Tuesday, March 17.

These actions include:

  • Enhanced cleaning methods with recommended cleaners, wipes and/or sanitizers in Park buildings
  • More frequent cleanings
  • Continued monitoring of the world-wide health situation regarding COVID-19

“We continue to educate ourselves and monitor the ongoing issue on a regular basis and will adjust our cleaning and event procedures as advised by the Knox Public Health, as well as synthesizing information from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization,” said Operations Director Mark Fritz. “We also want to keep COVID-19 in perspective.”

The following is a link to the latest State of Ohio information regarding COVID-19. In addition, here are some general health tips to follow to prevent the spread of illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

It is Ariel-Foundation Park’s goal to always operate family friendly events, both Park and private, in a healthy environment. These additional steps are a precaution to ensure the health and safety of Park staff and visitors. Be assured we will provide additional updates as necessary.

Updated: April 2020.


Foundation Park Conservancy strives to ensure that its services are accessible to people with disabilities. The park has worked to help ensure that its website is made easier to use and more accessible for people with disabilities, with the strong belief that every person has the right to live with dignity, equality, comfort and independence.

Accessibility on makes available the UserWay Website Accessibility Widget that is powered by a dedicated accessibility server. The software allows to improve its compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).

Enabling the Accessibility Menu

The accessibility menu can be enabled by clicking the accessibility menu icon that appears on the corner of the page. After triggering the accessibility menu, please wait a moment for the accessibility menu to load in its entirety.

Disclaimer continues its efforts to constantly improve the accessibility of its site and services in the belief that it is our collective moral obligation to allow seamless, accessible and unhindered use also for those of us with disabilities.

Despite our efforts to make all pages and content on fully accessible, some content may not have yet been fully adapted to the strictest accessibility standards. This may be a result of not having found or identified the most appropriate technological solution.

Here For You

If you are experiencing difficulty with any content on or require assistance with any part of our site, please contact us during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F) and we will be happy to assist.

Contact Us

If you wish to report an accessibility issue, have any questions or need assistance, please contact Customer Support as follows:

Email: [email protected]

We welcome your inquiries regarding Ariel-Foundation Park. Please use the following links to communicate to the appropriate staff member.

For general inquiries, bid requests, or items related to park operations, contact our Operations Director.

For inquiries regarding venue or pavilion reservations, weddings/receptions, or tours of the facilities, contact our Reservation Specialist using this form.

For inquiries regarding marketing, upcoming events, donating/sponosrships, or volunteering, contact our Marketing DIrector.

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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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