No smoking

World class park, great little town. Ya’ll come, heah?

This is where most smokestacks go when industrial companies pack up and leave town.

This is where people go when industrial companies leave towns with imaginations, like Mount Vernon, Ohio: with visionaries like Jim Buchwald and Ted Schnormeier; with an extraordinary industrial company like Ariel; and with philanthropists like Karen Wright.

Mount Vernon, Ohio’s Ariel Foundation Park: Where “Go fly a kite” isn’t an insult, but a great idea.

So, sometime soon, go fly a kite . . . go climb a smokestack . . . go fishing . . . take a hike . . . ride a bike . . . walk and reflect at a labyrinth . . . visit a museum and vintage rail station . . . learn how the glass industry thrived in Central Ohio, and how the steel industry didn’t . . . enjoy unique industrial sculpture . . . get engaged . . . get married . . .run cross country . . . picnic . . . study wildlife . . . attend a concert . . . BE a concert . . . take prom photos . . . the list goes on. And on. And on.

Ariel Foundation Park. Visit soon. Visit often. But allow a little extra time in case you make the mistake of asking a proud, long-winded local how this 250-acre marvel came to be.

See, it all started with the Kokosing River and generous supplies of local sand, gravel and natural gas. And then. . .

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