Janesville55.1°

Residents give park input

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
May 27, 2008
— Residents were asked to fill out surveys as part of the proposed park and open space plan.

Here is a sampling of comments. Some residents signed their names while others didn’t.


-- “No other new parks, trails or facilities needed. Let’s first restore, repair and maintain what we currently have, then we can look at other things … Riverside Park is the only park that needs significant and immediate attention … Lions Beach facility needs repair and maintenance.” —Al Lembrich.


-- “Start improving what you have along the river.”—Blackhawk Musky Club.


-- “Improve the plank bridges for inline skating … Set up a park near the Boys and Girls Club … Lions Beach needs an upgrade of facility and water quality. It has become the swimming area for economically disadvantaged and should serve them well. Keep it open one hour later for working people.”—Al Bates.


-- “The hope is that you will use non-pollution-type of fixtures on switches so lights can be turned off.”—Carl Balke, the Rock Valley Astronomical Society.


-- “Trail linkage between parts of the city is essential. In the future, people will want to travel in the city via bike …”


-- “I think Janesville has enough parks … The city should maintain what it has and not limit lawn mowing and other needed maintenance in existing parks ... I (would) really like to see the bathhouse and concession stand at Lions Beach repaired and brought back to use.” —Douglas Derby.


-- The proposed skate park in Palmer Park concerns Sherry Kuelz of the Camden Foundation. She is afraid of damage to the handicapped accessible playground there. She suggests that the city mow the lawns more to improve the parks. And she is concerned with softball diamonds in parks nestled in the middle of blocks without adequate public access.


-- “I would like to see the entire Fisher Creek Watershed become a linear park/conservancy … The residential area between Rockport Road and West Court Street and west of Austin Road was developed without any neighborhood parks/playground.”—Representative of the Austin Conservancy Group.


-- “The existing parks and aquatics facilities need to be maintained before we need to think about creating more facilities … (Provide) bathroom access year round at bike trail.”


-- “A four-season banquet facility overlooking the Rock River to be rented out for corporate and family functions.”—Pam Van Brocklin.


-- “I don’t want to see other parks updated and promoted at the expense of another (Riverside Park). Riverside Park is our most beautiful and grand park and has so much to offer.”


-- “(Build) restrooms at Optimist Park … Janesville’s trails do not have as many drinking fountains trailside (or restroom facilities) as trails in other cities.” —Dave Carlson.


-- “I would like to have an area where we could safely operate remote control planes, helicopters, cars, trucks … ”—Tony Sanfratello.


SURVEY RECOMMENDATIONS

The parks and open spaces plan recommends the city:


-- Provide 313 additional acres in park and open space.


-- Create a regional park to address long-term growth projections through 2030.


-- Buy private property from willing sellers at the south and northwest ends of Riverside Park to remove unsightly structures and inprove trails and public access.


-- Increase the size of the Northeast Regional Park, which is located east of Wright Road and south of Rotamer Road, from 88 acres to 100 acres. The park contains remnants of the undisturbed terminal moraine of the Wisconsin glacier. The city should create connections so the Ice Age Trail can pass through the park and continue north.


-- Buy property adjacent to Rockport Park to improve trails and facilities. Connect the park to other city-owned property to the west and north.


-- Create two community parks on the east and west sides. The east side park could be located east of the city between Henke Road and Milton Shopiere Road north of County A. That area is known as the highest point in Rock County.


-- Work with Rock County, Beloit and Milton to create regional parks to separate the communities. Potential locations include the area south of the airport and along Highway 26 on Janesville’s north side.


-- Increase the size of 37-acre Traxler Park, which is a “special event” park. The park has limited open space and insufficient parking. The city would buy structures along the waterfront to the south, with a focus on blighted properties or those owned by willing sellers. Consideration should be given to linking Traxler Park to the downtown area along the riverfront via a continuous pedestrian parkway.


-- Continue policy that suggests 6- to 12-acre parks within a mile of each resident. The policy for many years had been 1- to 3-acre parks within a quarter mile. The larger parks provide more opportunities for recreation and are more efficient to maintain.


-- Increase the size of city parks smaller than 2 acres because activities there impact nearby residents. Those parks include Adams Park, Greendale Park, Industrial Park, Rushmore Park, Pershing Park, Prairie Park, Ruger Park and Washington Park. The city would consider buying any property adjacent to such parks when it goes on the market.


-- Buy and remove the private residence on the northeast corner of Sharon Road and Randall Avenue near Rotary Gardens.


-- Continue buying land along the Rock River.


-- Extend the bike trail on the west side.


The study also details planned improvements to existing parks, such as improving a sledding hill in the Northeast Regional Park.


JANESVILLE PARKS

Janesville parks, listed in order of size:


-- Rockport Park, 2801 Rockport Road, 268 acres.


-- Palmer Park, 2501 Palmer Drive, 165 acres.


-- Riverside Park off Washington Street, 97 acres.


-- Northeast Regional Park, 3600 N. Wright Road, 88 acres.


-- Unnamed Community Park, 2400 block of Beloit Avenue, 55 acres.


-- Optimist Community Park, 4201 Ruger Ave., 37 acres.


-- Traxler Park, 600 N. Main St., 37 acres.


-- Prairie Knoll Park, South Oakhill Road, 40 acres.


-- Lustig Park, 1500 River View Drive, 31 acres.


-- Monterey Park, 501 Rockport Road, 29 acres.


-- Bond Park, 201 N. Oakhill Ave., 12 acres.


-- Marquette Park, 11.9 acres.


-- Briar Crest Park, 9.4 acres.


-- Kiwanis Park, 2501 N. Pontiac Drive, 9.1 acres.


-- Harmony Grove Park, 8.1 acres.


-- Loch Lomond Park, 7.5 acres.


-- Woodcrest Park, 7 acres.


-- Nantucket Park, 4.6 acres.


-- Hawthorne Park, 4.5 acres.


-- Sherwood Park, 4.1 acres.


-- Ardon Park, 4.1 acres.


-- Waveland Park, 4.1 acres.


-- Pershing Park, 3 acres.


-- Excalibur Park, 3.8 acres.


-- Valley Park, 3.6 acres.


-- Claremont Park, 3.4 acres.


-- Mandale Park, 3.1 acres.


-- Unnamed Park off Emerald Drive, 2.8 acres.


-- Burbank Park, 2.4 acres.


-- Hampshire Park, 2.4 acres.


-- Jefferson Park, 2.2 acres.


-- Huron Park, 2 acres.


-- Fourth Ward Park, 2 acres.


-- Washington Park, 1.7 acres.


-- Ruger Park, 1.7 acres.


-- Holiday Park, 1.5 acres.


-- Vista Park, 1.4 acres.


-- River Valley Park, 1.4 acres.


-- Greendale Park, 1.4 acres.


-- Industrial Park, 1.4 acres.


-- South Gate Park, 1.3 acres.


-- Zonta Park, 1.1 acres.


-- Rushmore Park, 1 acre.


-- Adams Park, 0.9 acre.


-- Prairie Park, 0.8 acre.



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