City unveils park plan
More than 30 people visited Mary Park the evening of Wednesday, June 11, for root beer floats, pickleball and disc golf demos, displays of Public Works equipment, and to get a first look at the city’s new park plan document.
The 61-page document outlines general information about the city’s park system and includes two pages for each of the city’s 25 parks. Each entry has photos of the park, a satellite image of the park, and listings including the park’s address, size, classification, existing amenities, history and opportunities for additional amenities in the future.
For example, the plan lists Hemenway Park as a 1.25-acre open green space at 140 Park Ave. It’s history section states, “Donated to the City of New Richmond in 1916 by Mrs. Oscar Hemenway, Hemenway Park is 1.25 acres and borders a backwater pond off the Willow River. A passive park used primarily for relaxing at park benches and picnic tables, this green space also attracts some fishermen.” Opportunities include adding landscaping and maintaining a scenic view around the water.
“It’s something I think is a really valuable resource for our city,” said Public Works Director Jeremiah Wendt. “It’s a really valuable historical resource thanks to Irv and Mary (Sather), and it’s a really valuable planning resource thanks to the Park Board, and Parks staff.”
In his executive summary of the plan, Wendt wrote that the plan could be used as a “how-to guide for the park system.
Part of the plan’s introduction states that the intent of the plan is “to ensure the city’s parks and open spaces are continually assessed, maintained and upgraded to uphold the city’s reputation as The City Beautiful.”
Each park in the plan is classified as one of the following:
— Community park
— Neighborhood park
— Special-use facility
— Open space/nature area
— Regional park
The plan also spells out areas designated as “linear parks” generally defined as narrow areas typically along roads. Though those areas don’t have space for most recreational activities, they beautify roadway corridors and can serve as segments of the city’s trail system.
A section at the end of the plan spells out specific park improvements that have already been identified and categorized as short-range, long-range and ongoing improvements along with funding sources.
Last week’s event, which included large placards and maps for park users to view, also served as an effort to reach out to park users for some public feedback.
“We want to hear from you,” Wendt said. “How do you use New Richmond’s parks? What would you like to see in the future in New Richmond’s parks?”
The park plan can be viewed online at bit.ly/1lOAE42, and Wendt can be reached at 715-243-0439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.