A Bridge to Cranbrook Elementary
FLOW: Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed
Your gift will install a 52-foot-long fiberglass pedestrian bridge over Slyh Run, reconnecting the surrounding neighborhood to Cranbrook Elementary School and a 10-acre outdoor classroom of restored woods and prairie.
The Slyh Run footbridge served the Cranbrook neighborhood from the subdivision’s inception in the late ‘50s. Every kid south or north of the stream could walk, skate, or ride to Cranbrook Elementary for school, and to the playground and surrounding woods and prairie. Bordered by highly trafficked roads, (SR315 to the east; Ackerman, Kenny and North Broadway to the south, west, and north), generations have enjoyed exploring the outdoors in this unique urban greenspace.
Time and the elements took their toll on the footbridge, which was closed in 2007 and demolished in 2014. Today, 300 students and their teachers lack safe access to the diverse environment surrounding their school. Students living just blocks away must take a bus to avoid the only available walking routes, which trace busy roadways that lack sidewalks.
Over the last two years, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed has partnered with the neighborhood block watch and Columbus City Schools to improve the greenspace along the stream, removing invasive bush honeysuckle, planting native trees and shrubs, and developing a pollinator prairie garden. The last step in the transformation of this beautiful community resource is installing a safe bike and footbridge over Slyh Run.
“With our first little one due this summer my wife and I are looking forward to many walks over the new bridge to the school playground. The bridge over Slyh Run is the missing puzzle piece we need to join the two sides of the neighborhood and allow the kids on the North side of the neighborhood to walk to school.”
— Hogan Berger, Cranbrook Blockwatch Captain
Teachers, students, and families are ready to utilize the woods, stream, and prairie for their outdoor education laboratory and as a safe route to school. Gifts and grants to this project have already raised $35,000 toward a $43,000 goal! Help us close the gap and build a bridge to Cranbrook Elementary!
Keep the Olentangy River and its tributaries clean and safe for all to enjoy, through public education, volunteer activities, and coordination with local decision makers.