Ideas for public park
June 14, 2006 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Ideas for a public park....

There is a tucked away park in my suburban neighborhood... the city council is going to vote what to do with it soon and I want to bring ideas. I am afraid it is going to be yet another one of those playground complexes (there are 4 with a mile- probably 8 within 3 miles).
It is kind of nestled in the woods and there is a medium sized pond with a sand beach (not used now due to pollution problems in the past). There is a dirt track to walk around the pond, a tennis court, a small playground, parking and a flat spot where there is a soccer field (unused).
Selfishly I dont want it to become a town beach with screeching kids (There is a city pool and alot of ponds and swimming holes pretty close). I love that a few people fish there and people walk their dogs and it's great place to watch the turtles and the tadpoles grow.
There are MANY baseball parks, a couple exercise tracks, tennnis courts, basket ball courts and a public skate park already in town.
What can this park offer that is unique enough to be appealing to the town yet keeping the pretty quiet vibe it has now??

Ideas or links welcome! Thank you...
posted by beccaj to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 


Giant fountain/sculpture thingy

Radio-controlled sailboat dock
posted by frogan at 12:22 PM on June 14, 2006


Use the lake for miniature boat sailing. Miniaturized electric-powered boat racing. With airhorns and loudspeakers and hot dog vendors and beer stands. Then pave around the lake so people can pull up their cars to watch.
posted by billtron at 12:22 PM on June 14, 2006


Oh I see Frogan already had the same idea.
posted by billtron at 12:23 PM on June 14, 2006


How about a boutique wetlands? Your park might be a little big for that but I like the style of this new Portland park.
posted by Staggering Jack at 12:40 PM on June 14, 2006


Suggest that they focus this park as their nature park. A nature trail with interpretation, a partnership with your state Department of Natural Resources to improve wildlife habitat, public programs like nature walks and night sky observations. Contact your local scouting organization and get them behind the idea. Better yet, have them present the idea to the city council, in their scout uniforms. What godless commie would vote against boy and girl scouts?!

Also, once you have the scouts and the state lined up, contact the council ahead of time to let them know what you will be proposing. No politician likes surprises.
posted by LarryC at 12:40 PM on June 14, 2006


Rain gardens or a community vegetable garden.
posted by schroedinger at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2006


When you make your presentation, make sure to tell them all about how there are so many traditional parks in your area. Bring maps and intelligent sounding facts. Don't make it easy for them to decide to just put in some basketball hoops.
posted by shanevsevil at 1:41 PM on June 14, 2006


Can you find out if there are any endangered or threatened species of flora or fauna in or near the park? That would probably prevent any further development.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:25 PM on June 14, 2006


How big is it? A small arboretum might be great and can provide a growing and changing landscape. Getting trees sponsored or donated from families or individuals is a good way to involve the community.
posted by marxfriedrice at 4:28 PM on June 14, 2006


Frisbee Golf Course
posted by spatula at 5:33 PM on June 14, 2006


Frisbee golf tends to attract a younger, teenaged or college-aged crowd. Not that there is anything wrong with that demographic, but they generally are not "quiet", at least in my area.

But it sure is a cool sport to watch! And it doesn't require the park to be dug up or paved over or disturbed much at all.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:43 PM on June 14, 2006


Speaking of golf, what about a Par 3, chip-and-putt golf course? I don't know the size of the park, but it's not terribly difficult to create a nine-hole course, with each hole being 50-100 yards long. It's perfect for beginners. Here's an example.
posted by frogan at 10:01 PM on June 14, 2006


Yeah, if you like the "nature park" idea, you can support it by talking about migratory bird flyways and getting the local Audubon involved. You could also connect it to the Wachusett Greenways -- they have maps that include Paxton.

I couldn't find city plans online for Paxton (and I don't know how all that works out in Massachusetts anyway), but if those exist, you could support your idea by finding a goal or objective in the city plan that says "we ought to help wildlife" or something.
posted by salvia at 11:45 PM on June 14, 2006


I also thought of the nature park. Do you have a local university that might have some ecologists that could also get involved? Information boards about things that live there, things that are being encouraged to live there, what the place might look like in 5, 10, 50 years. See if you can link it into the curriculum for local schools.
posted by biffa at 3:44 AM on June 15, 2006


Another angle on the nature park idea is the creation of outdoor classrooms. This could get the local school district on board as well.
posted by LarryC at 7:17 AM on June 15, 2006


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