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Contact: Kerry Francis, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department
News Date: February 09, 2022

Columbus Recreation and Parks Receives Top Honors for the Linden Community Center Project

COLUMBUS – Last night, representatives from Columbus Recreation and Parks Department accepted a first place Award of Excellence from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) for the Linden Community Center at the association’s annual conference. The department received the first place award in the Capital Projects: $2.5 million and up category. OPRA’s annual awards program recognizes organizations throughout Ohio that embody the vision, dedication and demonstration of excellence in parks and recreation. 

The 55,000 square-foot state-of-the-art community center in Linden expands access to recreation. Opened in February 2021, the multi-purpose wellness and activity spaces bring new life to a cherished Columbus neighborhood. The Linden Community Center is part of Mayor Ginther’s One Linden plan, a comprehensive strategy to revitalize and reinvigorate the Linden neighborhood. 

“The Linden Community Center is much more than just a building – it’s part of the fabric of the community and a gathering place for all people of all ages,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Residents across the city have experienced great disruption over the last two years, making it more important than ever to have facilities like this where they can safely engage in positive activities and find critical resources including access to food, vaccines, social services and more.”

Despite the challenges associated with COVID-19 and typical weather delays, the center was completed within its $25 million budget. Since its opening, the center has demonstrated its value in achieving the goals of the One Linden plan. This has been accomplish as demonstrated by how many residents have used the center. More than 50,000 residents have visited, and more than 4,300 residents have participated in one of 200+ classes, summer camps or events. The center also connected residents with needed resources including COVID-19 rapid test kits and food, serving 3,900 summer meals and distributing 970 food packages. During the holiday season, the center handed out hot meals and distributed toys and warm weather clothing.

“Columbus Recreation and Parks is here to be of service to our community, and our programs and services are designed to improve the quality of life for all residents,” said Bernita A. Reese, CPRP, director of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. “The recognition from OPRA reinforces the impact the new center is already bringing to this cherished neighborhood.”

About the Linden Community Center: The Linden Community Center includes numerous features, including Columbus Recreation and Parks’ first-ever elevated walking track, a fitness room, dance studio, wellness clinic, and a demonstration/teaching kitchen complete with video recording/streaming capability. Additional indoor and outdoor features include:

  • Full regulation-sized, spring-loaded gym floor, the first at any Columbus Recreation and Parks site
  • Basketball, tennis, hockey, pickleball and futsal courts
  • Football, baseball and soccer fields
  • Professional-quality music studio with video and green screen recording capabilities
  • Art and ceramics studio
  • Multiple computers and a learning center
  • WIC wellness clinic
  • IGS solar panels
  • Sprayground
  • Park amenities including benches, grills, picnic tables
  • Multi-use programming and community partner spaces

Visit for more information about the center.

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