Our goal is to create the largest inter-connected park system in the country.

The Board

Since RAPID 5 was unveiled, interest and excitement around the vision has been astounding. RAPID 5 received its 501c3 in July 2022. In this short time, a significant amount of work has been accomplished.

Perhaps most important to moving the RAPID 5 vision forward at this early stage, is the successful establishment of a Board of Directors who are committed to helping guide and grow the organization. Our focus in the coming year now turns to the intensive work of strategic and operational planning with the Board. The plan will address building and sustaining the organization and the system. Our outward facing work will quiet to focus resources and staff on these critical planning efforts. 

Thank you for your overwhelming enthusiasm. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we build the organization’s capacity to bring this transformational regional vision to reality.

Keith Myers
Principal, Keith Myers Studio
Board Chair
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Tom Katzenmeyer
President & CEO, Greater Columbus Arts Council
Board Vice Chair
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Mark Wagenbrenner
President, Thrive Companies
Board Secretary
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Kerstin Carr, PhD
Chief Regional Strategy Officer, MORPC
Board Treasurer
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Kristen Atha
City of Columbus
Director, Department of Public Utilities
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Dr. Frederic Bertley
President and CEO
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Michael Bongiorno
Vice President
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Michael Corey
Human Service Chamber of Franklin County
Executive Director
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Dr. Melanie Corn
Columbus College of Art and Design
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Greg Davies
Columbus Downtown Development Corp.
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Brian Ellis
Nationwide Realty Investors
President and COO
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Jonathan Kass
Continental Real Estate Companies
President of Development
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Tim Moloney
Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks
Executive Director
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Bill Stanley
The Nature Conservancy in Ohio
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Dr. Andy Thomas
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Wolfe Foundation Chief Clinical Officer
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Janica Pierce Tucker
Taft Columbus
Partner-in Charge
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Hannah Wexner
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The Team
Skilled consultants are helping to build the organization through strategy, development and operational support.
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Why is RAPID 5 important?

As central Ohio is on track to become a region of 3 million people by 2050, there is a unique and urgent opportunity to ensure that growth includes plans to preserve and expand people’s access to nature. Connecting people with nature and one another benefits their wellbeing, promotes social equity, spurs environmental stewardship, increases mobility and enhances economic vitality.

What is the meaning of the name RAPID 5?

RAPID 5 is an acronym for Rivers and Parks Imagination Design. The “5” refers to the five major waterways running north-south and equally distributed through Franklin County – Big Darby Creek, Scioto River, Olentangy River, Alum Creek, Big Walnut Creek.

When and how did the vision for RAPID 5 come about?

Over the past decade, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Columbus and MORPC have convened conversations to discuss the growth of the region with efforts like Insight2050 and Insight2050 Corridor Concepts. Both organizations were also separately focused on connections between natural resources and wellbeing – ULI through the Building Healthy Places initiative begun in 2013 and MORPC with its 2015 Central Ohio Greenways plan.

In 2021 ULI Columbus and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) invited the Neighborhood Design Center and five local design firms to gather community input and imagine possibilities for making the region’s unique natural assets, specifically the region’s 5 major river corridors, a centerpiece for central Ohio’s growth and wellbeing. The five design firms are REALM Collaborative, NBBJ, MKSK, AECOM and EDGE.

Thank you to the 2021 RAPID 5 Project Management Committee: 

  • Steve Bollinger
  • Kerstin Carr
  • Alicia Gaston
  • Tatiana Parfenova
  • Erin Prosser
  • Tim Moloney
  • William Murdock
  • Keith Myers, Chair
  • Michael Simpson
  • Mark Wagenbrenner

Since RAPID 5 was unveiled, interest and excitement around the vision has been astounding. RAPID 5 received its 501c3 in July 2022.

Over the first nine months of operation, benchmarking, research and hundreds of meetings with partners and municipalities have confirmed the need for an independent organization to lead this important effort – an entity that threads the needle across the system.

In this short time and with a very small team, a significant amount of work has been accomplished. Perhaps most important to moving the RAPID 5 vision forward in this early stage is the establishment of an amazing, talented Board of Directors in March of 2023 who are committed to helping guide and grow the organization and take this vision to reality.

RAPID 5 is not a standalone initiative, but one of several major regional initiatives. The region is at the cusp of transformation with efforts like LinkUs, Central Ohio Greenways, Regional Housing Strategy, and many more. Together these efforts will be transformative to the region.

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