PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
August 20, 2007
Present: Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Teige; Parks Horticulturist / Arborist Todt
Absent: City Council Liaison Navickas; Superintendent Gies
Guest: Journalist Vickie Aldous
Eggers called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.
TOUR OF CITY PARKS
Robertson reported that the evening would involve the touring of four neighborhood parks, including Sherwood,
Commissioners reviewed elements contained within the one-quarter-acre neighborhood park bordering Sherwood and Ashland Streets, including bocce ball courts, bathrooms, playground equipment, and lawn and picnic areas. Maintenance issues and weed control were discussed. In terms of the adjacent fire station and its potential for expansion onto the site, Robertson stated that the earlier proposal included pushing the curb line out to make Sherwood a one-way street, which would have greatly reduced the size of the park. Sherwood was described as a “walk-to” park, with its borders of apartments and homes.
Robertson pointed out the restrooms and playground equipment and said they were in need of upgrades. Commissioners debated the necessity of including restrooms in parks and discussed whether community garden plots would be appropriate for the park. The lack of direct sunlight was noted. Another discussion point involved potential removal of some of the lawn area. Todt stated that removal of lawn often creates maintenance issues such as weeds, requiring the use of herbicides.
Commissioners noted the playground equipment and large lawn area of the four-acre park. A neighbor requested an opportunity to speak to the commission.
Ruth Coulthard, 566 Faith, spoke about homeless camping in the park, reporting that she heard voices late at night and found a bucket on her premises possibly containing human waste. She spoke with regret about the recent pruning / removal of blackberries, expressing that they were gleaned by neighbors as a free food source and provided a natural barrier. She indicated that, while dogs are not permitted, many neighboring residents allow their dogs into the park. When asked about including community garden plots in the park, she instead expressed a desire for more fruit trees, as the free fruit would be appreciated by the low income neighbors and fruit picking serves as a family friendly activity.
Todt reported that the non-native blackberries were removed because they were a fire hazard and created a shelter for homeless campers. He said the blackberries would be replaced with native vegetation along the riparian / creekside areas. Robertson expressed a desire to replace the path with cement and install a footbridge. Robertson and commissioners talked about potential locations for community garden plots. To gather input from neighbors, Eggers suggested posting a sign reading, “For information about community gardens, please call
Commissioners reviewed the area bordering the
Commissioners reviewed elements contained within the one-acre neighborhood park bordering
Commissioners discussed the possibility of including community garden plots in the park and their possible placement. Lewis spoke of the money saved by growing food in a community garden.
Commissioners reviewed the one-acre neighborhood park located at the corner of
Commissioners discussed the possibility of including community garden plots in the park, their possible location, and the number of plots needed to create a viable community garden. Robertson stated that Glenwood might not be optimal for that activity due to the lack of parking, restrooms, and direct sunlight.
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Robertson reported that Todt would provide a pesticide / herbicide presentation at their October 15 study session.
Eggers reported that the draft riparian ordinance was available and asked Robertson to invite Planning Director David Stalheim to present it to the commission at a future study session.
ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Eggers adjourned the meeting at 8:20 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard,