Initial Acreage Purchase
Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County provides $151,000 grant to City of Mount Vernon to finance the majority of initial 86-acre Foundation Park acquisition on the former Goodwin Sand and Gravel site.
Clean Ohio Grant
City of Mount Vernon awarded Clean Ohio grant to purchase additional Kokosing riverfront acreage, including western-most lake and access via Harcourt Road (SR 36).
Purchase of Right-of-Way for Bike Trails
Van Valkenburg Delivers Potential Plan
Ariel Corporation provides $80,000 in funding to Conservancy to commission a master plan for the Park by renowned landscape architects Van Valkenburg and Associates of New York City and Boston. Van Valkenburg delivers stunning but impractical blueprint estimates to cost more than $30 million.
Schnormeier and Stoviceck On Board
Ted Schnormeier offers to develop and execute an alternative development plan for Foundation Park with the assistance of Schnormeier Gardens collaborator Bob Stoviceck. Quiet negotiations to acquire 75-acre former Pittsburgh Plate Glass site begin, following receipt of $1.75 million grant commitment from The Ariel Foundation.
Negotiations with PPG Continue
Conservancy receives confirmation from ODNR that riverfront elements, central to the Van Valkenburg blueprint, would violate existing conservation easements. Negotiations with multiple PPG mortgage-holders bog down; but FPC continues to focus on a comprehensive plan that would incorporate the upper level former PPG site, including the (then) impenetrable wooded area adjacent to the southern bank of the central lake. FPC board is advised in December by board member and attorney Kim Rose that the PPG purchase is imminent.
Acquisition Complete; Demolition Begins
Restoration of Depot Commences
Park Officially Named
Clearing of Woods Begins
Development Subcommitee Forms
In August, a development subcommitee of the FPC is named, under the co-chairmanship of Melanie Bolender and Joel Daniels. The subcommittee also included Jeffrey Boucher, Kim Rose, Michael Percy, Sam Barone, and Clinton Bailey.
Pavilions Built in Lakes Area
Fall 2013 sees the erection of seven new pavilions in the "Lakes" area; the demolition of the former PPG site nearly complete, the digging of two lakes and construction of the first of three terraces, and improvements to the southern border of the PPG site, including the planting of more than 100 trees along the roadway.
Late Fall 2013
Fundraising is progressing well during fall of 2013 with commitments of more than $1.5 million toward the $2.5 million Ariel match secured.
Year End 2013
Phoenix Bowstring Truss Bridge in Place
As year-end 2013 approaches, the Phoenix Bowstring Truss Bridge is in place in the "Lakes" area and the first of several hundred large caliper trees have been planted on the original Foundation Park acreage. Hundreds of tons of large rock are also adding interest to the terrain, and shoring up the banks of the central lake and the isthmus connecting the so-called "Wedding Island" to the "Woods" area.
CA&C Depot Dedicated
Bridge Dedicated; FPC Hands Over Lakes, Woods to City
Rastin Makes Commitment for Tower
At an August 2014 recognition event for major donors, Ted Schnormeier asks Tom Rastin to consider a $1 million gift for the proposed spiral staircase and observation deck around the iconic PPG smokestack. Rastin agrees and the project is scheduled for completion, in time for the grand opening on July 4, 2015.
Grant Helps City Purchase Additional Acreage
City receives a Clean Ohio grant to purchase additional 25 acres in west Foundation Park area, south of the Park's western-most lake.
FPC Announces Naming of Mavis Island
Park Projects Continue
Despite an exceptionally wet spring, final grading and seeding of terraces proceeds, the Lucerne Road Bridge is installed, critical acreage is acquired for a roadway linking west Foundation Park and the former PPG site along the western bank of the central lake, the Tree of Life Labyrinth is completed, as is work on the Urton Clock House, Community Foundation Pavilion and adjacent picnic pavilion, and the Schnormeier Event Center.
July 4, 2015