By Nelson Dow

Photo Editor

Historic Newark is going to see some important urban revitalization projects in the next couple of years. Of several projects going on downtown, one of the most prominent will be the $4 million Canal Market District, made possible by the Thomas J. Evans Foundation. The Market District focus on bringing healthy, affordable and locally produced food to Licking County.

The centerpiece of the district is the Market Plaza, a covered brick pathway and pavillion that will serve as a weekly county-wide farmers market and open community space.

The plaza will be located on a former gravel parking lot in Newark’s Courthouse Square and is bordered by Market, Canal, Second and Third streets.

The project, according to the Canal Market District website, aims to “instill pride in community while strengthening community identity and promoting local culture and participation in development.”

Bryn Bird is the executive director of the Canal Market District and a Licking County native with 20 years of involvement in the county’s local food community. Bird “cannot wait to help create a new market that will bring even more families together, help start new businesses, and be home to a million memories for those in Licking County.” Bird is responsible for developing a robust farmers market and event management for the newly constructed Canal Market District. Bird “will also be working to integrate local food programs and projects such as the Food Hub and Food Access programs.”

Jeremy King ‘97 is Denison’s Campus Sustainability Coordinator and has been asked by President Weinberg to serve as a liaison to Newark and the Licking County community. “Over the past year, I’ve met with many civic leaders, citizens, and entrepreneurs to hear from them how they think Denison might be able to be a partner in sustainable economic development.”

King has high hopes for building a strong connection between the Denison and Newark communities. “This is an exciting time for Newark and Licking County.  Personally, it is so exciting to be involved in the transformation of downtown Newark and in rethinking what we as a community value.”

Construction of the Market District is set to be completed by 2016.