From City Hall: Parks dept. reviews ’19, looks ahead to ’20

By: 
Devon Coughlin, park superintendent
OK, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room and talk about the floods first. Five floods in two years! And these last two, what the flood! The first one had the icebergs, which were very destructive, and this most recent one went on to set a flood height record. I guess we’re lucky that we hadn’t completely finished the first cleanup otherwise we’d probably be on our third set of drinking fountains and bathroom doors. I want to thank everyone who has helped cleanup this year, and I might need you again!
On a more positive note, we added pickle ball lines to the tennis courts at Aspen, which has attracted a pretty regular group of pickleballers. We also resurfaced the playground at Sunrise Park with a synthetic turf. This has been an awesome upgrade and I have never seen that playground used so much since it was installed. We are planning to do more playground surface upgrades in the future. We love it when we do upgrades to parks and almost immediately see a big increase in visitors; it really makes it all worth it.  
One ongoing project is Stone Ridge Park. I know this one has been slow to get going but dirt work, sidewalks, seeding and the shelter are all underway right now. We will be working on the shelter throughout the winter months and hope to have it finished next year.  
As far as looking ahead to next year and beyond, we finished the Aspen Park master plan and can now move forward with the planned improvements and expansion. This will include pool improvements, a second entrance/exit to the park and also parking lot improvements among many others.  
I’ll finish by saying thanks to all who help keep the parks looking good. Whether you helped clean after the floods or just picked up a pop bottle while you were on a walk, thank you!

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