A Fairfield goal for 2018: Add a new dog park to well-known Black Bottom

Marsh Park Lake will be a main focus for Fairfield in the coming year and beyond.

The goal is to transform Marsh Park — which today is a 30-acre fishing lake and walking/biking trail — into a 170-acre crown jewel in the city's park system. Eventually, the Park will become an L-shaped park with three lakes, extending its current half-mile walking/bike path into a 3.1-mile trail connected with the Miami-to-Miami trail and connecting it with the 30-acre undeveloped park known as Black Bottom across River Road along the Great Miami River.

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Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller he’d like to see Marsh Park made into a destination that would cater to the millennial crowd but admitted that “will be far away” before the park is up to that level.

“If we start from scratch here, we can have the type of music, the type of venue the millennial crowd might enjoy,” he said.

Marsh Park sits on top of the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, which runs from Logan County to the Ohio River. That aquifer fills up the current three lakes at Marsh, the largest of which is the current fishing lake to the south and is 70 to 80 feet at its deepest. The other two lakes range from 10 to 30 feet deep.

At the end of 2017, the city took over the property owned by Martin Marietta, the gravel mining company that mined the land for 50 years. The company agreed to deed the land to the city when it completed its mining operations.

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The first project at Marsh Park will be constructed around 10 acres of the 30 acres across from the lake, said Fairfield Parks Director Jim Bell. Depending on the bidding process, the city could construct the long-awaited dog park.

“We tentatively are going to put it out to bid this year,” he said.

It’s tentative because it depends on approvals. Bell said the city is in the construction design phase now and will discuss the park at an upcoming work session with City Council.

After input is given and final construction documents are developed, the schedule depends on whether City Council approving the project as part of the capital improvement program for this year. Council’s CIP meeting is scheduled for this spring.

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