Hiawatha Park Master Planning Notes - October 4, 1999

October 4, 1999

Hiawatha Park Master Planning Notes

(Notes by Pam Boehmer - not official)

Park Board:
Mitzi Patterson (Park Board)
Ken Grieshaber (Park Board Architect)
Sherri Buss (Landscape Architect and Engineer)
Jeff Lee (Park Board Environmental Operations)
Ed Solomon (Park Board)
SENA Parks and Environment:
Linda Grieme
Pam Boehmer
John Betcher
Joyce Boettcher
Dick Starr
48 people

Mitzi's opening remarks:

Additional Master Plan funds have been requested through GAP (Government Approved Funding)
GAP Requested Funds are:
2001 requested \\$300,000 for the park site
2002 requested \\$500,000 for the park building

These requested GAP funds are in addition to the NRP funds

Plan for Master Plan meeting agendas:
Meeting 1, Oct 4: Idea gathering
Meeting 2, Oct 18: Presentation of multiple concepts based on ideas gathered from community and architectural design/input.
Meetings 3 and 4, Nov. 1 and 15: Discuss and vote on final plan. Final plan will include a written cost estimate.

Jeff s remarks:

Explained the Blue Water Commission process and the resulting report.
Discussed some of the report findings
Indicated that findings would be incorporated into the Master Plan.
Lake Nokomis - excessive algae bloom
Lake Hiawatha - excessive phosphorus pollution
Blue Water Commission developed 19 recommendations
Improvements starting in Lake Nokomis and then Lake Hiawatha
Budget for implementing Blue Water Commission recommendations is \\$2-3 million for 1999-2003
Lake Hiawatha:
Storm Water Ponds
Street Sweeping
Public Education
Beach Curtain: to separate the beach area from Lake pollution Most successful beach curtains have involved pumping clean well water into area if this is not done, the water quality gets worse.
Shore Erosion: to be addressed in Master Plan

Sherri's Remarks:

Noted potential issues around park on a recent visit:
1. Park Entry - one does not exist
2. Wading Pool - unattractive fence
3. Playground - outdated, not very nice
4. Shoreline - invading species, erosion, much grassy space, would we consider more flowers or a different kind of vegetation?
5. Pavement - damaged
6. Trail Location - not so good
7. North/South part of creek - very different use of the open areas and views.

Community's Remarks:
1. Nature - Like 2 different areas of park. Continue to have oasis of nature. Leave it wild, it is beautiful.
2. Nature - Do something better with picnic slopes - great view of sunset- need benches, gathering spots, wild plantings.
3. Nature - Trees - need some non-deciduous trees for winter color
4. Nature - increase natural areas in general
5. Nature - concerned about keeping/saving nesting areas
6. Nature - Concerned about lake shore foliage - it is too high to see the water and it is not clear what the benefit to it is.
7. Nature - Shoreline: need more open space near shoreline for kids to observe water plants and fish.
8. Nature - Concern that lake itself is getting smaller, concern about wildlife area, worried about sludge building up in lake (Jeff spoke to most recent dredging and the fact that community has been positive about wildlife area)
9. Nature - Concern with excess giant ragweed
10. Signs - Need better signage around park to be able to identify and be educated about the different plants
11. Signs - Would like educational signage
12. Paths - by baseball field, the bike and pedestrian are together and too close to field.
13. Paths - Sidewalks slump and puddles have been created by bridges
14. Paths - Need to separate pedestrians from bicyclists on bridge (Mitzi informed group that there was a separate sidewalk project that would address some of these concerns. Project would be from Hwy. 55-Lake Hiawatha
15. Paths - Access to Lake Hiawatha: cannot walk around, fence looks like a concentration camp - if separation from golf course is necessary, should use split rail or a natural prairie. North entrance to park is ugly.
16. Paths - Golf Course - do not want full access around the lake - it is peaceful now. Nice because of limited access. The wildlife is better protected without the extra trails. (Mitzi took an informal vote: For path around lake = 20, Against path around lake = 18)
17. Paths - Floating sidewalk - to give access to lake but to not disturb wildlife or golf course.
18. Paths - Slope safety - the steep slopes and paths are a safety concern
19. Golf Course - concerned about how people peel back the fence, during the winter to allow access to golf course.
20. Lights - nice to have lights from beach to building to be timed well and decorative
21. Picnic - Need multiple picnic tables together
22. Parking - not enough. But caution against more pavement.
23. Parking - Senior Parking - need close to building
24. Parking - Handicap Parking - need it.
25. Basketball - do not want basketball moved out of the park. Needs to stay.
26. Tennis Courts - in bad shape, balls go under the fence.
27. Ball field - needs a backstop and safety dugout with chain link fence
28. Athletic Fields - need some improvements, need grass, need soccer fields
29. Volleyball court - needs to be sand
30. T-Ball field - field formally used for T-ball could be re-graded to make more usable.
31. Athletic Fields - Concerned about lack of grass, the bad grass (Ken responded it was likely due to the damage caused by ice on the field for ice hockey)
32. Athletic Fields - Need to keep ice fields
33. Playground - need safer equipment, keep baby and big kid separate areas, need realistic place/physically challenging equipment, handicap accessible, locks on hoops (currently exist but was not known), colorful, climbing wall, skateboard ramp, could model after Hale. (Sherry commented that once structure is determined, they get feedback from kids about color/design etc.)
34. Playground - equipment - like the old stuff- he enjoyed playing on it, especially the concrete tunnels and would like it to stay if safe.
35. Playground - would like a theme, i.e. pirate ship
36. Playground - Need a natural barrier between (or move) basketball court and playground area. Concern with the noise and bad language.
37. Relocate wading pool and add shade. Visually/foot traffic wise it would be nice to be away from entrance of building.
38. Concerned about people swimming in non-beach areas, especially by the dam and jumping off of the bridge.
39. Need 28th Street buffer - Migrate traffic, pedestrian overrun on 28th. Separate 28th from Park.
40. 28th - make the park area that is near 28th more attractive
41. Buffer on - if it is created, concerned about safety/security and visibility - like the openness.
42. Stop sign at 45th - want to keep it year round
43. Snow Fence - tacky , don't use
44. Park Entry - Do not create an entrance structure/arch entrance - plantings are OK.
45. Park Entry - do need to have a dressed up entrance
46. Building - lacks a decent meeting and reception area
47. Building - want permanent warming rooms instead of trailers
48. Building - save the character of building
49. Bridges - save the character of bridges
50. Canoes - Storage area is needed
51. Canoes - Want to be able to rent canoes at golf course
52. Need to find more human supervision in Park
53. Police - need park police to be stepped up
54. Need to maintain park more closely
55. Emergency Call Columns are needed
56. NPR radio show spoke about Hiawatha identified being a possible site for a dog area on south of golf course, good thing. (Ken remarked he would have golf course management represented at next meeting).
57. Concerned about aggressive dogs that are unleashed
58. Garbage pile on beach needs to be dealt with. There litter has not been consistently picked up for years.
59. Garbage - Adopt a Shoreline to pick up debris?
60. Garbage - Need more trash receptacles and someone to clean more regularly
61. Garbage - Concerned about the garage/litter on the golf course side of lake and if path were placed around lake, it would need to be maintained by golf course.
62. Bathrooms: Biffs - should be moved back to old location. Make them more decorative. Make real bathrooms
63. Bathrooms: need to be able to see doorways from play ground and swimming pool
64. Funding - concern that the building and park plans work together (Ken ensured that they would based on the Master Plan)

Note - Park Board officials reassured community members that when the playground eqiupment and other items are ready to be decided upon, a new set of public meetings will be held to decide upon on each element of the Plan. This is for all aspects of the Master Plan. The Master Plan is just to decide what items we want in the park and where they should go, no designs are incorporated.

Ed Solomon remark's:

Money is a problem, he would like support for the referendum to the Mayor.