Thomas James Knox Memorial Rink
Westerville City Council awarded a bid on Tuesday, Jan. 16 to move forward construction of the Thomas James Knox Memorial Rink, set to break ground in late winter or early spring 2018. The outdoor, inline hockey rink will be an addition to the 30-plus acre Alum Creek Park South, 535 Park Meadow Rd., which currently features skate ramps, a BMX track, climbing feature and more.
In 2017, the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department began working with Jim and Lisa Knox to create concepts for the rink. The development of this rink honors their son, Thomas James Knox, who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep in December 2015. A freshman at St. Charles Preparatory School, Thomas loved playing hockey on the junior varsity team. His passion for the sport began at age six, where he quickly formed an affinity for skating and competition.
The rink celebrates Thomas’ legacy by offering a central location for youth to be introduced to hockey as a team sport, providing space for community programming to develop the skills of players of all ages and creating a public space for current players to sharpen their talents in Westerville.
Financial support for the rink is being coordinated through the Westerville Parks Foundation. More information can be found on the organization’s website.
Westerville Parks Foundation
What We Do
The Westerville Parks Foundation has provided more than $375,000 to the Parks and Recreation Department to enhance four key areas of the parks system: Trail Enhancements, Public Art, Park Improvements and Scholarships.
Our ImpactCurrent Projects
The Parks Foundation is committed to the enhancement and beautification of Westerville’s Bike and Walkway (B&W) trail system. The Foundation has funded rest nodes, memorial benches, landscaping and trail head kiosks and signs along the 30-mile recreational trail system to create a more enjoyable and safe experience for path users.
One of the Foundation’s largest initiatives to-date was the construction of the Train Depot shelter. In 2012, the Train Depot was built in Hanby Park in Uptown Westerville. This shelter remains a popular rest area along the 325-mile Ohio to Erie Trail that connects Cleveland to Cincinnati.
More than $82,000 was raised for the construction of the Train Depot.
And in 2015, the Foundation helped fund the Mae McCorkle Rest Node which includes a paver plaza, perennial flower display, benches and a bike rack. This node is located just north of the County Line Bridge on the Ohio to Erie Trail.
The Foundation strongly believes public art enhances the aesthetic of a community, engages residents in creative ways and instills a sense of civic pride in the community.
Over the past decade, the Foundation has funded multiple art pieces including the “Family Outing” bicycle sculpture outside the Westerville Community Center, “The Chase” soccer sculpture at the Sports Complex and even a mosaic at the Bark Park.
One installation you can’t miss is the “Mural on the Path.” A 100-foot long, 14-foot tall mural sits along the Ohio to Erie Trail on the Cellar Lumbar building encouraging visitors to “Create Your Own Path. “
The Foundation provided more than $3,000 in art supplies for the “Mural on the Path.”
This community project united local businesses and residents as they worked together to develop a creative vision for the neighborhood.
When people talk about Westerville, they rave about our parks. It is no surprise that the Foundation is dedicated to supporting the city’s parkland.
Westerville’s first and only Dog Park, the Bark Park, opened in 2005 with foundation support and continues to be a welcoming space for people and pets to enjoy together.
More than $17,000 was raised to assist in the completion of the Bark Park.
The Foundation also contributed $57,000 to the redevelopment of Otterbein Lake. This destination now includes an overlook for fishing and is conveniently located next to the Alum Creek Trail.
With Foundation assistance, First Responders Park was dedicated in 2007 and became home to a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. Located next to Fire Station 111 on W. Main Street, this park serves to honor those lost on 9/11 as well as the men and women who serve our country each day.
Westerville Parks and Recreation serves more than 850,000 people annually, but all too often families encounter financial barriers to participating in health, wellness and recreational programming. The foundation is a strong advocate that everyone should have access to programs and facilities regardless of financial standing.
The Scholarship Fund was started to grant scholarships to assist families and residents of all ages in need, enabling them to purchase a Community Center pass, attend an event or even join a sports league.
Through the Scholarship Fund, more than $13,000 dollars has been given to 265 individuals.
Those impactful numbers continue to grow with this ongoing program. If you know someone who could benefit from this fund, please encourage him or her to fill out this application and return it the Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Avenue, or email it to email@example.com.
Thomas James Knox Memorial Rink
Last year, the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department began working with Lisa and Jim Knox to create concepts for an outdoor, inline (rollerblade) hockey rink at Alum Creek Park South. The development of this rink will honor Lisa and Jim’s son, Thomas James Knox, who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on December 13, 2015. A freshman at St. Charles Preparatory School, Thomas loved playing hockey on the junior varsity team. His passion for the sport began at age six, where he quickly formed an affinity for skating and competition.
With your support, this rink will celebrate Thomas’ legacy and bring shared enjoyment to Westerville. The Thomas James Knox Memorial Rink will serve the community by offering a central location for youth to be introduced to hockey as a team sport, providing space for community programming to develop the skills of players of all ages and creating a public space for current players to sharpen their talents.
To date, $250,000 has been generously gifted to the construction of the hockey rink, but in order to add facility amenities, more financial support is needed. The groundbreaking for the first phase of the project is anticipated in Winter/Spring 2018. Click here to donate to the Thomas James Knox Memorial Rink.
The Foundation is currently fundraising to bring an educational 18th Amendment sculpture to Uptown Westerville. The Prohibition Sculpture will highlight the impact of the Anti-Saloon League in Westerville and commemorate the prohibition movement and Westerville’s role with the 18th Amendment.
The sculpture is being fabricated by Artist Matthew Gray Palmer. It is planned to be installed in the new Civic Green outside of Westerville City Hall in Spring 2018.
The Foundation has already pledged $30,000 towards the completion of Prohibition Sculpture. More financial contributions are needed, however, to meet the overall project budget of $150,000. If you would like to help bring this sculpture to life, please consider donating here.
Information for this story was provided by the City of Westerville.