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City of New Richmond previews CAP Committee concept examples

A community bridge is one of the many examples of projects the City of New Richmond is looking to enact through its CAP Committee. Photo courtesy of the City of New Richmond

The City of New Richmond recently released the following examples of the Community Action Plan Committee's possible concept ideas, including a disc golf course, a community bridge, "The Good Place" and an edible trail.

New Richmond Disc Golf Course

The city has heard for several years the community's desire for a disc golf course in New Richmond. Currently, New Richmond residents travel to other communities to enjoy disc golf. For example, Somerset has a beautiful wooded and hilly course that attracts local residents and many users from the area. Playing disc golf is a healthy, physical, outdoor activity for all who use it.

Families, groups and individuals of all ages enjoy the challenge of disc golf. Clubs and group activities — including school groups, organizations, church groups and businesses — could incorporate disc golf as a means to strengthen relationships and encourage a healthier lifestyle. The creation of the disc golf course could be supported by businesses, civic organizations, nonprofit groups, and individuals. The city could establish a Disc Golf Funding Drive seeking tee box and hole sponsorships, among other opportunities.

One potential location for the course may be Hatfield Park. According to the city, the course would fit nicely with the current and planned recreational activities allowing players to enjoy the park's beauty and related recreational amenities.

Mary Park Community Bridge

Mary Park Community Bridge will provide an important causeway of improved community connectivity to the businesses north of the Willow River, Mary Park and the downtown area. Those enjoying the park would be able to walk safely north and south of the Willow River through Mary Park while strolling and enjoying a new vantage point of the scenic Willow River. The existing pedestrian crossing is a narrow and dangerous sidewalk connected to the Knowles Avenue bridge. Only a curb separates the traffic from pedestrians and there is no railing.

Mary Park Bridge serves as a "community bridge" connecting the assets of New Richmond's natural resources with the unique characteristics of our historic downtown for all visitors to enjoy. Residents and visitors are enticed to follow wayfinding signs to go off the beaten track and stroll over the bridge and enjoy the views of the Willow River and Mary Park's amenities, activities and events.

Mary Park Community Bridge can serve as a catalyst for a wide variety of community interaction:

• School field trips

• Wedding nuptials

• An added feature for park events

• Local resident fishing

• Walkers, runners, bikers and persons with disability

The city's goal is to make the Community Bridge a community project drawing a wide range of funding support from businesses, organizations, civic groups, and from governmental grant sources

The Good Place

It has become a growing concern for many individuals and separated families to find a safe place to meet for the first time or for families to find a neutral place where child custody exchanges can take place between strained parents. The "Good Place" is a place where "all is good," or at least "okay" when people meet under strained circumstances or for the first time.

The Good Place location provides a safe and secure environment where all can feel they are in a "good place" to conduct any social interaction where they may feel more comfortable. The Good Place is like any other public space except with a few added security features that support safe interactions. We have all become used to security cameras at nearly every place of business to prevent to crime, why not use this accepted technology to prevent bad behavior?

Those who feel uncomfortable during such meetings will find comfort in a neutral environment that has added security features such as cameras that monitor any unbecoming behavior. Knowing The Good Place is a safe place because of security cameras, those prone to bad behavior will be aware they are in a secure area and act accordingly. If issues arise, they are documented for authorities to determine the resulting consequences.

The Good Place could be located outdoors at existing public areas where security cameras already exist or indoors offering more comfortable surroundings. The Good Place locations could be arranged with nominal funds and perhaps started as a community pilot program supported by interested organizations, individuals and grant sources.

Edible Trail

New Richmond has the best of two worlds: it harbors the innovation and creativity of city development surrounded by vast agricultural opportunities. New Richmond has an opportunity to purposely incorporate those ideals into its park system.

The Edible Trail project is a section of trail in New Richmond where fruits and plants would be planted for trail patrons to enjoy as they utilize the trails. The unique trail offers many educational and collaboration opportunities within the community.

Adding these arbor trail selections, will also promote habitation for birds and wildlife in New Richmond and support local ecosystems.

The possible collaborators and benefactors are plentiful:

• School field trips and agricultural/botanical courses

• Garden clubs and an Adopt-A-Garden Program

• Dining establishments working with the city for local sourced food

• Food donations made to local food pantry and other organizations

Edible Trails provides an opportunity for local collaboration and sponsorship support. Local green houses, gardeners, and eating establishments could donate a plant or a group of plants which would be labeled for identification as well as recognition of their support. Local businesses and organizations could contribute towards minimal landscaping needs and periodic maintenance.

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