Ohio Magazine’s Best Hometowns — Findlay, Gallipolis, Greenville,
Grove City and Peninsula — have appealing events and attractions for residents and visitors alike.
JULY 2013 ISSUE
BY STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS
A young mother walks the labyrinth in Gantz Park, finding a few minutes of solitude. An elderly couple navigates the same circular path hand-in-hand as a time of reflection. A child thinks the labyrinth is a fun maze and skips toward the center. Residents of Grove City enjoy their municipal park’s path and its classic circles, first designed for the floor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres in France in 1201.
The labyrinth is also a destination for guests staying in Grove City’s many hotels. The spiritual walk is a welcome escape for many professionals with business in nearby busy Columbus. It is also a side trip for those visiting Ohio’s capital for sporting events, conventions or shopping. Regional visitors want to explore the labyrinth and all 27 beautiful acres of Gantz Park at 2255 Home Rd.
Within the park, the Gardens at Gantz Farm features the Garden of Yesterday, Garden of Today and Garden of Tomorrow. Follow the attractive red brick walkways to a new space-saving spiral herb garden where plants are grown from top down in order of water needs. This season, Gloria Hartung, gardens education coordinator, created other surprises. Look for a dramatic pocket garden of all black plants, a tea garden and a cat garden featuring plants with feline names — think cat thyme and the ground cover pussytoes. Also new are milkweed plants to attract Monarch butterflies and hoja santa (the “root beer” plant) with dinner-plate-sized leaves used as wraps in Mexican cuisine.
“Gantz was originally designed as an educational garden. Plants are labeled with common, scientific and family names,” says Hartung. “Don’t expect to see masses of plants like Colonial Williamsburg. But it is fun here and we always try new or unusual plants.”
Gantz Park features a number of outdoor sculptures that complement the gardens. “Girl Reading” is a much loved sculpture by artist Dennis Smith of Utah. The life-size bronze figure depicts a barefoot, pony-tailed young girl enjoying a book.
“Every year we get moms and dads who take photos of their own little daughters next to the sculpture reading books,” says Hartung.
Gantz Park, open dawn to dusk every day, also features an arboretum, shelter houses, historic farmhouse and barn for children’s activities, gazebo, tennis courts, walking paths and natural areas. Karen Conrad, Grove City parks and recreation director, says a recent emphasis is to encourage children to explore the natural world. The small creek that runs through Gantz Park has become a favorite spot.
Visit the Grove City Area Visitors and Convention Bureau’s Welcome Center, 3378 Park St., for more information about the city. The center also maintains a small museum on-site, operated in cooperation with the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society.
Grove City boasts more than 115 restaurants, cafes and taverns, as well as 1,200 hotel rooms. Regional and local shopping areas provide all-day shopping sprees, and Scioto Downs Racino offers live harness racing along with 2,117 video lottery terminals. For more information, visit grovecityohio.gov. — Jill Sell
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