By Steve Snow, Parks and Recreation Board member
February 14, 2017. Valentine’s Day. A day devoted to romance, flowers, candy, greeting cards and the regular monthly meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board.
Parks and Recreation Director Robbie Spencer began with a report on conditions at several of the parks. The loitering activity at Zadie Kuehl has declined and the installation of solar security lights in the parking lot and the pavilion area will be completed by summer. The City has received approval from the Army Corps of Engineers to clear the underbrush, overgrown vines and weeds in the wooded grove at Windward Slopes. The diseased fruit trees around the retention pond at the Oak Ridge Park were removed and will be replaced.
An update was presented on the creation of a foundation to allow individuals, groups and businesses to make donations to fund specific Parks and Recreation projects. This proposal is based on a similar foundation established by the City of Bartlett for their park system and is being further researched before any recommendations are made.
The site of the proposed Athletic Complex was discussed and it was decided the Board members would visit the site to determine whether it was a viable option before proceeding with negotiations on the property.
A site plan for the new community garden at Oak Ridge Park was unveiled. Plans consist of 40 plots in a fenced and secure area with a water source, as well as sheds for tools, compost and other supplies.
The capital projects for the next fiscal year were ranked in importance by each individual member over the last month and then summarized and presented for the Board’s approval. The projects were prioritized in the following order and were approved unanimously.
- Athletic Complex start (Phase One) – Purchase land and start on phase one.
- Zadie Kuehl/Dog Park – Provide a master plan.
- Community Garden (Phase One)
- Windward Slopes Park Master Plan and Sand Volleyball Courts at Windward Slopes Park.
- Recreational Camping Site – Plan to be presented in March.
City Manager Jim Atkinson recapped the highly successful 2016 LAMP Concerts and announced that the series in 2017 would be expanded from four to six performances each month beginning in May and concluding in October. A number of promotional videos for available bands were screened and contacts will be made to determine availability and cost. Additional features will be food trucks, vendors and activities for children.
The Tour De Lakeland bicycling event May 13 will benefit the bike trails at IH Park. Over 200 cyclists participated last year and interest is already building for the 2017 edition. The Tour’s planning committee is seeking sponsors, volunteers, items for a silent auction and donations of food and refreshments for the bikers. Anyone interested in being involved please contact Steve Snow firstname.lastname@example.org or Tour Director Alan Johnson email@example.com. https://tourdelakeland.racesonline.com/ Website for the event.
… photo courtesy of Jim Atkinson, city manager.