This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The consultants' report

Did you get a chance to look at the planning report that was produced for the Park Board? Today I went to the library and skimmed through its 100+ pages. It begins with background and continues with a summary, full of charts, of the surveys that the consultants asked people to fill out. Then there was an analysis of each of the parks, which is where I thought it started getting interesting. Finally pages 97-99 had a summary of recommendations. If you do not have much time and want to know the gist of the report, start there.

Here are some highlights, sometimes with my comments. The park board wants to continue to pursue the purchase of more land, but it has no money budgeted to buy any. The consultants recognize that the east side of town in under-parked, with only Columbia Park. (However, this is ameliorated by the presence of the school corporations lands around the high school and Van Rensselaer. I did not see any suggestion that the park board and the school corporation cooperate more.)

A high priority is the development a trail system master plan. It sounds good in theory, but I do not see how a good trail system would fit in Rensselaer. Maybe they should think outside the city limits. The report suggests more horseshoe pits--do people still actually play horseshoes? I can see the reasoning for wanting dog parks within the existing parks--right now a lot of people exercise their dogs in the parks, and even though most are responsible in cleaning up after their dogs, maybe some are not. I liked the idea of adding some nature plantings in Brookside and Iroquois to reduce the need for mowing and maintenance. (Saint Joseph's College could save a lot of money with that idea--too bad they will never do it.) There was a lot about ADA compliancy.

The plan suggested improving the ball field in Iroquois. The ball field, though, is in a poor location, with a busy street on one side and fenced city buildings on the other. The proposal to add benches to Memorial Park seems sound, (maybe they could get some from St. Joe's, which is littered with benches) as does the proposal to contain the parking area of Laird's Landing. (Now pretty much the entire park is a parking lot.)

There was a lot more there, and some of the recommendations that did not interest me, may interest you. If you have a chance, take a look at the report. (It is too bad that they did not put a version on-line.)

Feel free to comment.

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