Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Beginnings in the Park

As the snow recedes and a new season arrives, we are more hopeful than ever that by Fall 2011 we will see a graded and seeded south end of Way Park, the beginnings of a rain garden, and possibly additional plantings!

The Northfield City Council recently approved hiring a landscape design firm, van der Zalm + associates, and on February 28 the firm presented their initial design at an Open House to obtain public input. Friends of Way Park Board members in attendance were favorably impressed with the receptiveness of the designers to citizens' ideas and with their thoughtful adaptation of the Spencer Jones Master Plan. The firm, whose head offices are in British Columbia, has recently opened an office in Minneapolis, and is eager to establish itself in Minnesota.

The landscape architects will refine their design, and, once engineers can extract soil borings, will cost out the project. It will probably be sometime in April before the City and Friends of Way Park will have the information enabling them to work out an agreement for sharing costs and initiating the project. The current City Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget contains a total of $80,000 for this phase of the project, and FWP has at least $30,000.

Other features of the Park plan, such as paths leading from St. Olaf Ave. to Second Street, will likely need additional funding to accomplish. Friends of Way Park continues to seek donations and will be doing more fundraising in the months ahead. We hope that we can count on your continued, generous support in making the Park plan come to life.

If you would like to receive email updates on Phase I progress, please send a note to friendsofwaypark@gmail.com.