Gahanna Provides Flexible Summer Programming

The  City  of  Gahanna  Parks  and  Recreation Department  has  announced  details  for their  updated Summer  Youth Programming.  In the  midst  of  the  coronavirus  public  health concern, new operational  mandates  for  day  camp programming  were  announced by  Governor  DeWine  last  month. Many  of  those mandates  significantly  impacted  the  ability  to  offer  typical day  camp  activities,  field  trips and group events.  

Parks and  Recreation  Director,  Stephania Bernard-Ferrell,  said  their  team  has been  working  hard  to provide  fun  learning  opportunities, despite  restrictive  mandates. “Our  team  shifted  their  focus and  have been creative  by  providing  virtual recreation  activities,  adapting  programming  to provide  safe  learning and exploration,  and  implementing  a  meal  program  for  our  senior  residents. We  are  always  looking  for ways to  stay  engaged  with  our  residents and  hope  that  through these  efforts,  our  community  members  will be  able  to enjoy  their  summer  just  as  they  normally  would.”

Sarah  Mill,  Recreation  Supervisor  with  Gahanna Parks  and Recreation Department,  said  their  team  has been  focused on  offering  interactive  programming, despite  many  physical  limitations. “Summer  may  look different  this  year,  but  our  Recreation  Team  has  been  hard  at  work  to ensure  that  fun memories  will  be made, and our  Parks  will  be  used  for  the  purpose  intended —  to get  outside,  and enjoy  nature  during  the warmest  months of  the year.”  

Stephania  Bernard-Ferrell  stated  the  programs  will begin  July 6.  Registration  will  be  open starting  June 10 for  portable “camp  crates,”  which offer  activities for  families  and  children  wanting  to experience  new programming  while  staying  at  home,  and  June  15 for  part-day  enrichment  experiences, and  virtual programming  options. 

  “You’ll  see  some  of  our  favorite  summer  activities  like  nature exploring,  games,  arts &  crafts,  and  much more,”  added Sarah Mill.    “We’re  working  to bring  interactive, online  courses  and  summer  camps  with STEM,  arts  education  &  sports  programming  to the  Gahanna  community.”     For  additional  details  and to  register  for programs,  please visit

2020 Story Trail is OPEN

The 2020 Gahanna Story Trail is now open, inviting visitors to explore on their own the scenic path through the woods at Friendship Park (150 Oklahoma Ave.) while immersing themselves in an original story.

Presented by Gahanna Parks & Recreation, Columbus Metropolitan Library Gahanna Branch and Gahanna Jefferson Public Schools, the 2020 Story Trail tale features the story, “The World Around Her.”   The tale is illustrated on colorful panels that draw visitors into the woods toward the creek.

The Gahanna Story Trail began as a collaboration between the Gahanna Department of Parks & Recreation and the Gahanna Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library in the spring of 2012, and was inspired by the Story Trail at Dawes Arboretum. It featured the popular picture book, “In the Tall, Tall Grass” by Denise Fleming. The story served as an interactive nature walk combining nature exploration and early literacy interaction.

In 2013, the project was expanded to begin highlighting more of the Gahanna community. The installations were a unique collaboration between Gahanna Parks & Recreation, the Gahanna Library and the Gahanna Schools.  In subsequent years, the stories, “The Acorn”, “Little Red Riding Robin”, “Following a Feathered Friend”, “Going on a Nature Walk”, “The Friendship Bridge”, “The Littlest Bee”  and “The Big Walnut Country Club” were all written and illustrated by students from the Gahanna Area.

This year’s story was written by: Allison Slates, Areej Khalid, Azhaar Yasin, Ruby Lobert, and  Zakia Mohamud. The artwork was created by: Rachel Deibel, a Gahanna Lincoln High School student.  The illustrations are accompanied by questions and challenges to encourage engagement by visitors as they wander down the scenic park trail.