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

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The future of the swamp?

The city of Rensselaer purchased the 9+ acre plot of land that is flood plain east of Weston Cemetery recently in order to build a mini storm water treatment plant for days on which storm runoff overwhelms the sewage system. (I have occasionally called this property "Weston Lake.") Because the proposed plant would occupy only a small part of the parcel, the question arises of what the city could do with the rest. Because it all floods every few years, it is not suitable for any kind of building.

Below is a possible use of the land drawn up by a consulting firm. This plan would plant most of the area in native plants and put walking paths through it, which is a reasonable thing to do. I am less sure about the pond. Currently the lowest part of the property is close to the cemetery, so the pond would require moving a considerable amount of dirt. The walking path under the College Avenue Bridge looks far-fetched--it crosses private land and anyone who has been under the bridge knows there is little room to walk. However, I like the idea of the pedestrian bridge. It would connect the Milroy-Potawatomi_Iroquois Parks with the paths/roads in Weston Cemetery (which seems to be the primary place that people walk for exercise in Rensselaer) and the adjacent Bicentennial and Brookside Parks. It would give Rensselaer a viable trail system.
 Here is a closer look at part of the plan. Is the word "plinth" in your working vocabulary?
None of this can even start until the plant to process storm overflow is completed, and that will probably be a few years down the road. I have never seen one of these preliminary plans that survives revisions, but some of the ideas in the plan may be implemented sometime in this decade.

(I would like to thank Mayor Wood for letting me see and photograph this plan.)


Anonymous said...

It looks promising. It will be interesting to see what actually happens with that land.


Anonymous said...

The dirt from excavating the pond could be used to make a sledding hill.

Daniel Amsler said...

I love the idea of the sledding pond. I wish I could see who said that to give you proper credit because it is a great idea.

Anonymous said...

What about a skateboard park?

Anonymous said...

Ooh, the plinth spaces are exciting! Unless I'm mistaken, a plinth is a base for a sculpture. Maybe the planners are leaving space for statues, with the subjects TBD?