Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session

Monday, September 15, 2014

City of Ashland
September 15, 2014


Present: Commissioners Gardiner, Lewis, Seffinger; Director Black; Superintendents Dials and Dickens

Absent:   Commissioners Landt and Shaw; City Council Liaison - Mayor John Stromberg

Seffinger called the study session to order at 7:00 p.m. at Ashland Creek Park, 27 E. Hersey Street. Project Manager Steve Ennis distributed a project site plan, stating that red sections A Ė E reflected Phase II elements.


Dickens acknowledged the many project contributors:

  • Roxy Ann Rock Construction, contractor
  • Landscape Architect Laurie Sager
  • Engineer Mike Thornton
  • Hardy Engineering
  • Archaeologist Dennis Gray with Cascade Research
  • Carlos Delgado Design and Architecture
  • Ashland Parks and Recreation Staff
  • City of Ashland Planning and Public Works departments
  • Project Manager Steve Ennis

In terms of orientation, Dickens talked about the entry sign, fig tree protections, ADA parking (3 slots) and additional parking (2 slots), required storm drain, pervious and impervious surfaces, fruit and nut orchard, concrete loop path and the recent barn removal project.

Additional discussion points included:

  • Future half-court basketball court; current playground structure by Playcraft; restroom facility
  • Lawn area and future picnic arbor area
  • Gravel walkways through the park
  • Naturalized meadow with benches and the surrounding open space
  • Limits of work as determined by the Parks Commission (keeping project away from creek)
  • Community gardens: deer fencing surrounding garden, concrete mow strip, possible ADA-compliant raised beds with an encircling decomposed granite or gravel (pervious) walkway, soil, greenhouse on north end, eight-foot-high entry gate, gravel entrance, garden sheds, separate water meter and frost-free hose bibs.
  • Plaza area: kiosk, two-seater unisex restroom building with adjoining drinking fountain, future multi-use shelter, rain garden, and bike parking area.

Project management discussion points included:

  • Value engineering
  • Budget assistance
  • Archaeology
  • Asbestos
  • Change orders

Public responses were reviewed:

  • A complaint about noise during construction
  • A dust complaint
  • A favorable remark about park improvements

Budget was discussed:

  • Stretched due to unexpected additional costs
  • Ennis acknowledged for keeping project in line with budgetary constraints

Discussion Among Commissioners and Staff
Lewis said the park was similar to North Mountain Park in that both featured active play areas, natural areas and gardens. Lewis suggested reviewing previous discussion points about side channel work and completing it in the future. Environmental Stewardship Coordinator Linda Chesney said the proposed channel could pose challenges for homeowners on the other side as the water might flow differently if that work were to occur.

Dickens said staff and the commission would continue working on obtaining trail easements to allow for a trail connection to Verde Village.

Dickens said SHPPO determined that a section of the park was now in the National Register of Historic Places due to some archaeological findings at the site.

Dickens and Ennis discussed proposed plantings at the park.

Dickens said asbestos was found on the land several weeks earlier and a great deal of contaminated material was excavated and removed.

Nature Center Manager Libby VanWyhe asked what stormwater BMPs were in place between the park and the creek. Dickens and Ennis pointed to the raised berm with a wattle on top, inspected by the DEQ each week. The DEQ were also available on an on-call basis.

Ennis discussed the size of the community garden area, nearly double the size of the previous garden, and said garden topsoil would be twelve inches in depth. Deer fencing would be built around the garden with a concrete mow strip. The greenhouse would be placed on the north end of the garden. Eight-foot-high entry gates would be built. Each garden plot would have a frost-free hose bib. The restroom, located in a convenient spot for parents and children as well as community gardeners, would have two unisex stalls and a drinking fountain attached to the side of the building.

The group discussed raised beds in terms of water usage. Dickens said water in a raised bed tended to stay in that area while water in a more open garden area tended to saturate out. Chesney said raised beds didnít necessarily require more water. She offered to send a link by email the following day. Seffinger said the commission hadnít ruled out raised beds; no vote had been taken to date. Ennis said any raised beds other than ADA-required beds would need to be built by individual gardeners. Dickens said gopher proofing would be handled by gardeners as the budget did not provide for it. Commissioners and staff talked about establishing a set of guidelines and a range of design specifications and elements for gardeners wishing to build raised beds.

Gardiner asked about park visitors using parking spaces at Ashland Creek Park. Dickens said the church unofficially indicated that parking could be accommodated on days and times not heavily utilized by church patrons.

Completion of Phase I was estimated to be the end of December, 2014.


By consensus, with no further business, Seffinger adjourned the study session at 7:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard, Executive Assistant
Ashland Parks and Recreation


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