Parks and Rec seeks input for park redesigns

At Thursday’s meeting of the Webster City Park and Recreation Commission, the board decided to ask the public on what they would like to see among possible renovations for East and West Twin Parks.

The board continued their discussion of a five-year park plan, with their limited budget in consideration, at the meeting. Among the ideas discusses, the commission members discussed a spray water park at East Twin Park, building a shelter area at East Twin Park and focusing on West Twin Park as a green-space, expanding the skate park into part of the old tennis courts at East Twin Park and finding revenue for more playground equipment at parks.

Recreation and Public Grounds director Kent Harfst said the city council of Webster City should also be involved in the direction of possible redesigns and additions to the park. He asked that anyone who uses the skate park or East and West Twin Parks to contact him with thoughts and input.

The long term plan for the parks has been expanded over several commission meetings. The overall goals of the plan are to improve the safety, appearance and signage of the parks and to continue to take car of current properties and buildings.

In addition to removing the tennis courts at East Twin Park and expanding the skate park, the commission has also considered new window shutters for the enclosed shelter, planting more trees, and repairing the skate park as needed.

The plan encompasses other parks in the community as well. The commission is considering a new roof and painting for the Brewer Creek Park shelter, with repairs to the trail, adding hard surface on the North Terrace Drive Entrance, and planting more trees. Nokomis Park may be refurbished, along with the softball and baseball infields, and painting additional parking lines.

Sketchley Park has a more uncertain future. The commission is considering returning the park to nature, demolishing the restrooms that are no longer usable and reforesting the area. The Lions-Stafford park may have its picnic tables replaced, and Wehrheim Park may have a basketball court added. The commission is looking to improve canoe access at Riverside Park, and may also return areas of that park to nature and remove part of the gravel road there.

A trail path to Kendall Young Park has been considered for some time, and the commission said it would be a great addition to the park. Stone work on the park entrances is also needed, along with erosion control along the creek, a new roof at the sun shelter, and a replacement for the split rail fence.

Overall, the plan says all parks need to have playground equipment and surfaces evaluated. Harfst said regulations and price are two barriers to fixing up the equipment at city parks.

To that end, the board talked with Deb Dunham at the meeting. Dunham had contacted Harfst about the possibility of raising money for new playground equipment in the city. No plans for fundraising have been finalized. Harfst said the cost for a decent set of playground equipment would cost a minimum of $30,000.

The next commission meeting will be Aug. 15 at 5:15 p.m. at Fuller Hall.