Thursday, August 03, 2006

Park Plans Unveiled!

Spencer JonesThe City of Northfield presented a public forum to review designs for Way Park last night at the Community Resource Center. About 50 citizens attended, most of whom were residents of the park's west side neighborhood.

After comments from a few city officials, landscape architect and Park Board member Spencer Jones presented four different designs for the park. The plans were greeted with enthusiasm by the crowd, particularly those among us who have worked to make the expanded park a reality.

Citizens were given a chance to provide written feedback about all the designs and also to participate in a Q&A session that was moderated by Charley Skinner.

All four designs present different approaches to dealing with First Street, which bisects the park. One of the plans features the street routed around the park, funneling traffic to Second Street. The other plans run the gamut from narrowing the road to expanding it with a greenspace median or sculptural elements. Much of the public discussion focused on the street issue and safety concerns, but attendees also spoke of the desire for the park to become a true community park—not just a neighborhood resource—and to that end all four designs feature some form of performance space, in addition to maintaining the park's "tot lot" playground and ice rink.

Howard Merriam, the city's Director of Resource Planning, promised to make PDFs of all the plans available soon, but in the meantime you can catch a sneak peek at some photos of them below. Click to enlarge the images.