Thank You, Westerville
We are so grateful to be surrounded by such a giving community. The donation drive to financially support the development of First Responders Park has come to a close. Thank you to all the businesses and community members that generously contributed to the construction of the park.
About the Park
Construction began on the renovation of First Responders Park, 374 W Main St., in March. The project is expected to be complete in early October.
Westerville’s First Responders Park (FRP) was first dedicated in 2010 to honor the service and sacrifice of all first responders. The centerpiece to the park was a section of steel known as “C-40” from the north tower of the World Trade Center that fell during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Later, on Oct. 9, 2011, the City dedicated a privately funded sculpture, “The Crossing,” which honors a fallen Westerville firefighter, David Theisen. In 1998, David was killed while battling a fire in Crooksville, Ohio.
On Feb. 10, 2018, Westerville Division of Police officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering were killed in the line of duty. As the community worked to cope with this tragic loss, plans to create a permanent police memorial were expedited.
Before the losses we suffered as a community, this project was considered for expansion because its size could not accommodate large community gatherings and noise from the street disrupted events. It has always been the intent of the City to be inclusive of all first responders. All elements of the existing park will be incorporated into the redesigned space.
Landscape architecture firms POD Design and McGill Smith Punshon provided design services free of charge to honor Morelli and Joering. Designs from memorials around the globe were used to inspire the park in form and function, which are illustrated in the renderings below. This project is supported by a generous $500,000 donation from the state of Ohio.