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From Brownfield Site to Award-Winning Green Space

PROJECT: Scioto Audubon Metro Park

CUSTOMER: Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Parks District, the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, and Audubon Ohio Design / Specifying Engineer: Mark A. Kline, Kinzelman Kline Gossman

LOCATION: Columbus, Ohio


INSTALLER: Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Parks District

YEAR: 2009


The site of the 94-acre Scioto Audubon Metro Park was not a family-friendly destination until recently. Before the site on the edge of the Columbus, Ohio business district became a park, it was home to a landfill, industrial park and rail yard.

In 2004-2005, plans to transform the site began taking shape. Principal Mark Kline of landscape architecture firm Kinzelman Kline Gossman explained that the goal was “to remediate, reclaim and revitalize this blighted and industrial brownfield site” to create an expansive park that would include wetlands, trails, a large outdoor climbing wall, a playground and a bird sanctuary.


The site of the 94-acre Scioto Audubon Metro Park was not a family-friendly To help the park achieve its goal as construction got underway in 2009, the park planners chose Rosetta Hardscapes for the retaining and freestanding walls required in the heart of the park. The natural colors and textures of Rosetta blended well with the theme of the park, and since Rosetta is made of architectural-grade wet-cast concrete, Rosetta provided several sustainable advantages including:


Because wet-cast concrete is durable in the elements, including freeze-thaw cycles, designers knew that it would stand the test of time.

“It has been exceptionally functional; we have had no problems with it since we installed it. Some of the other products we used at the park have had to be repaired already, but we haven’t had any issues like that with Rosetta,” explained Andia Sangale, Project Manager for Policy and Partnership Development with Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Parks District.

Abundant, local materials

The aggregate and sand used to make the Rosetta blocks was mined locally which reduced freight cost and carbon emissions.

“The whole park is an environmental remediation project. Any way and any time that we could include a product that had less of an impact, we tried to incorporate them,” Sangale said.

Versatility and Adaptability

The project incorporated a total of 243 sq. ft. of Rosetta Belvedere freestanding walls that acted as barrier walls to direct pedestrians and also provided seating. Belvedere is a hand-set line that features 64 unique stone textures on both sides of each block, making it a great choice for two-sided freestanding walls.

Surrounding the playground and climbing wall area, 324 sq. ft. of Rosetta Outcropping retaining walls also acted as seat walls. Outcropping is a larger scale wall system that features 12 unique unit sizes and 24 unique stone textures. Dimensions of Outcropping blocks vary from 24 in. to 72 in. wide and from 6 in. to 24 in. tall.

“We get a lot of traffic through that playground because it’s right next to the climbing wall. Using Rosetta was a nice way to provide some seating without having to provide a whole lot of extra benches for people to be able to watch their kids playing or friends climbing,” Sangale said.

The walls were installed by Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Parks District’s own crews and stood 2-3 ft. tall. Rosetta is much faster and easier to install than natural stone because the dimensions are consistent, which minimizes the sorting and cutting required. “Once the crew understood how the blocks fit together, it installed very quickly,” explained Sangale.


The park has been recognized for excellence in design and engineering from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ohio EPA.

Rosetta has a proven track record for providing aesthetic, durable solutions for public and private spaces across North America, Europe and Asia. With Rosetta, you can create stunning, functional hardscapes that capture the look and feel of nature. Visit today to find your local manufacturer!

Products Used in this Project

Outcropping Collection

Belvedere Collection