By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – Council members will be asked at their upcoming meeting to approve the recreation department’s proposal to upgrade the high-traffic Young Patriots Park.
“We will take the proposal before the council at the next meeting,” Parks and Recreation Director Todd Dickman said Jan. 6.
The director is proposing more playground equipment for the park, on Sibley between Fort and Grange. The department is proposing using money from the community development block grant to add equipment. If approved, the addition would begin in the spring.
“It’s one of the parks that gets a lot of use,” Dickman said. “It’s a fairly large park.”
Young Patriots Park has three ball diamonds, playground equipment, a pond, in-line hockey facility and basketball courts. The community center and library share the park.
“There are also a lot of cross-country events there,” Dickman added.
Resident Sarah Bowers said the city parks are wonderful and the recreation department does a good job of keeping them clean.
“Parks are so important to keep children and adults engaged outside,” Bowers said. “She said she makes a deal with her three children that one hour of video games equals two hours outside.”
Dickman said parents are the main component in getting the children away from video games and into the parks. He said parks are a wonderful vehicle to help people bond with nature and a place to have fun.
Bowers said she enjoys the parks just as much as her children, whether it be going there to read, play Frisbee or take a walk.
The department recently used money from the CDBG to complete an overhaul of Memorial Park, on Colvin between Hamann and Valade.
“We completely had to tear out the old equipment and put in new equipment,” Dickman said of the park that was finished in November. In addition to playground equipment, Memorial Park offers a Scout cabin, basketball court and picnic area.
If the council approves the plan for Young Patriots Park, Dickman said the upgrade won’t be as labor intensive. He said they aren’t tearing anything out, just adding.
In addition to Young Patriots and Memorial parks, the city has 10 additional parks, including Coachwood, Glens, Jefferson Tot Lot, Kennebec, Kingswood Nature Park, Lloyd Carr Park, McShane, Ray Street, Vos Tot Lot and Vreeland.
Dickman is scheduled to pitch the Young Patriots Park plan at the council’s 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19 meeting. The meeting is on a Tuesday to accommodate Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 18.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)