Crystal park plan open house is March 14

Concept drawings to be presented for larger parks, including Becker Park

By Laci Gagliano
Sun Post Newspapers

The City of Crystal will host an open house Tuesday, March 14 to preview several concepts for a citywide parks overhaul master plan, according to city officials.

The open house will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Dr. N, Crystal, and will give residents an opportunity to provide feedback about what types of features they’d like to see added to Crystal’s parks, which the city plans to update once sufficient public feedback is gathered.

Recreation Director John Elholm said the park system was built in the 1970s and hasn’t changed to accommodate more modern recreation trends.

“Some of the activities we’re seeing today are different, so we’re getting requests for things we don’t necessary have space for, like lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee,” Elholm said.

Elholm the first stage was to take inventory of what the city parks currently have, and gathering input from the public about what they’d like to see in the future is the second step.

“We have a survey online,” he said. “We’re having public meetings like the one on the 14th. There’ll be boards around the room, and people can come and talk about whatever topic interests them.”

He said the recreation department has met with community members who rent space at the parks and is conducting the survey on an ongoing basis, so there is plenty of preliminary data to present at the open house.

“There’ll be some conceptual drawings of some of the larger parks: Becker, North Lions, Welcome, Bassett Creek,” he said.

Becker Park is the central focus of the entire project, due to the park’s close proximity to commerce, central location, and the light rail station that will be built adjacent to the park.

“Some of the input on that is to make it more of a community gathering place. Some of the uses of Becker Park discussed so far have included a farmer’s market, entertainment, food trucks, a playground, and green space. More ideas will be welcomed at the March 14 open house,” Elholm said.

According to Elholm, other popular requests for city parks include splash pads, restroom buildings, rectangle fields, and a four-season space with shelter that would be available for rent, which people could use for events and parties. Improved ball fields are another popular request.

“Currently, we’ve got folks using rectangle fields who are having trouble finding space,” he said.

Elholm said the next stage of planning will include design and funding.

“Right now, we’re brainstorming, and asking people, ‘What do you go to another community to do that you don’t have here?” he said.

Contact Laci Gagliano at [email protected]