Plan for Richmond park system begins to take shape

Park board members have begun to establish a foundation for a comprehensive plan to spend tax money that voters approved last year.
Members met at the new Richmond Fire Station on Friday to talk about the goals for the next few years and how tax dollars will be used to achieve them.
In the immediate future, drainage issues, parking, bathrooms and playground will be addressed in the plan. Another big piece of the plan will also be the construction of the new Hamann Park.
Replacement of the city’s playground equipment began about three years ago, according to the board, and only a few additional items need to be added. Park Superintendent Terry Dickey said some of the park’s remaining playground equipment is outdated.
Playground equipment will also be part of Hamann Park that will be built around two T-ball fields.
After going through a wish list, project leader Glen Martin said many of the items on the list have been completed or are already in motion and discussions turned to adding new items to a park wish list.
One of the items that seemed to have a consensus was a new dirt bike course at Cevie Due Park. In addition, Friends of the Parks member Rob Kinnard said that some of the youth that use the skateboard park would also like some new things. He said he could arrange a meeting between the Park Board and the youth to hear straight from the users themselves.
“I could have 20 kids together in one phone call and they could give us ideas of what they would use out there instead of us picking it and putting it out there and not using it,” Kinnard said.
Also addressed were the basketball rims and fencing around the courts.
Among other things discussed were the possibility of an additional bark park, batting cages, expanding sand volleyball courts and improvements around the lake area at Southview Park.
Park board members want the public’s input into the process as well. Martin said he would begin putting together a questionnaire survey that will primarily be conducted online.
“We can target this survey to people we know are high users of the park,” Martin said. “We can try a couple of different things to get some real useable results.”
Martin will take the information collected and the board will again meet at the Fire Station at 7 p.m. on March 27.

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