Public seeks more from parks system
Could be if the wave of phone calls and e-mails to the city’s parks and recreation director is any indication.
A dog park, a swimming pool and biking and hiking trails were among the top priorities named by residents who attended a Jan. 15 workshop where they could share their thoughts on the future of the city’s parks.
“I want to make sure things we’re trying to do are in alignment with what the people want,” said Jeff Malloy, director of parks and recreation.
Dustin Wolff of Crispell-Snyder presented the findings from the workshop to the parks and recreation commission Monday night.
Many residents who attended the workshop indicated that the current parks system is pretty good, Wolff said.
Besides the wishes for a dog park and a swimming pool, the trails came up often.
Several people indicated the trails as an asset to the parks system, and still more said they’d like to see more trails for hiking, biking and rollerblading and even waterways for canoeing and kayaking. They also are interested in having trails within the city link up to other trails in the area.
The city is working on updating its Parks and Open Space Plan, which is revised every five years and used to apply for funding from the Department of Natural Resources.
Malloy said public input was a “necessity” as the city began reviewing its plan.
The workshop, which was facilitated by Crispell-Snyder, was one of three ways the city gathered information about what people like and don’t like about the currents parks system and what they’d like to see down the road. Crispell-Snyder interviewed six key interest groups, including schools, businesses and service organizations, for their input, and the city surveyed fourth- through eighth-graders from five schools.
Wolff said now that the parks and recreation commission has learned the public’s thoughts, it’s time to set priorities and make recommendations “with shirt sleeves rolled up.”
-- Dog park.
-- Swimming pool.
-- Trails for hiking, biking, rollerblading, cross-country skiing, canoeing and kayaking; connect trails with others in area.
-- Upgrade the “canteen” and baseball diamonds at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
-- Promotion of parks and events through improved signage.
-- Preserve natural areas and protect Lake Comus and surrounding area.