An update on the Ames Park Master Plan is scheduled for Monday night’s Council meeting/work session. Included is the issue of where to cite the Northfield Skateboard Coalition’s Skate Park/Plaza: closer to MOM’s Ames Mill or closer to 5th St. The Council packet has this two-page PDF of the Ames Park Concept with the two options produced by the consulting firm, Bonestroo. I took photos of Ames Park during DJJD last year (to show carnival-related parking) and also some from last winter.
The Northfield News is running a straw poll on the bottom of their homepage on the skate plaza location within Ames Park. Here’s a slightly different version:
The Sat. Nfld News has a story titled Layouts for park come to council.
In the Feb. minutes of the PRAB:
The basic distinction is placement of the skateboard plaza in the park property. Bonestroo consultant, John Slack, is in contact with MnDOT, Malt-O- Meal, and the DNR concerning this project. There will be another public open house scheduled, perhaps in conjunction with the February PRAB meeting. General consensus of the PRAB was the approval of Concept A that situated the skateboard plaza at the North end of the property. Other comments included:
- Moving community plaza all the way to North end of park… north end of skateboard plaza
- Geese issues being addressed by the river plantings
- Access from Hwy 3, 5th Street and Malt O Meal
- Parking issues
Brian Erickson, Northfield’s Public Works Operations Engineer, has this in the agenda packet (PDF):
This update is provided to City Council regarding the current status of the Ames Park Master Plan. The plan was authorized at the March 17, 2008 City Council meeting. The final motion stated, “Approve Ames Park as the location of a City Skateboard Plaza as recommended by the Park and Recreation Advisory Board with the addition of a sidewalk safety plan on Fifth Street Bridge and the feasibility of a drop-off lane.”
In October 2008 a professional services agreement was signed with Bonestroo to prepare the master plan. Since that time the Park and Recreation Advisory Board held a public open house in December 2008 and reviewed the results of Bonestroo’s efforts in January 2009. Attached are two potential conceptual plans that have been prepared. A cost estimate will be available at the work session for review and discussion.
Here’s the blurb on Ames Park in the Park System Master Plan, Appendix A on Ames, Aspen, Babcock, Bridge-Square (PDF) : (I’ve included cropped photos here to make them easy to view):
Classification: Community / Special Use Park — 2.5 acres
Character: Ames Park is located at a key entry point to the historic downtown area of Northfield, directly adjacent to the Cannon River. The park is in a highly visible location and connected to the downtown area by a sidewalk across the bridge. Overall the park is under-utilized, with much of the land maintained as open green space for community events. An existing memorial trail (dedicated to Jean Campbell Brooks) extends along the shoreline through the park. The shoreline currently exhibits some erosion. The only parking available to support the park is across the river. The view to the north of a loading dock is in need of visual screening. The powerline running through the park is also a visual distraction and functional impediment.
Development Considerations: The park’s overall aesthetic qualities need enhancement – especially given its importance as a “gateway” into the downtown area. As defined in Section 3, the park was selected as a candidate site for a new skateboard park, which if built here would require careful siting as part of an overall design. Other key amenities and improvements worthy of consideration as part of an overall master plan include: enhancing the park’s visual and functional connection to the downtown area; improving walkways, overlooks, and sitting areas; adding a shelter or arbor structure for sitting and architectural aesthetics; adding streetscape elements complementary to the downtown area; and enhancing the memorial area and specialty gardens. The shoreline of the river also needs to be stabilized and enhanced with native plantings.
Additional ornamental landscaping throughout the park is needed to improve the park’s aesthetic qualities and selectively screen or frame views. Maintaining a good-sized multi-use turf area is an important design element to accommodate annual community events and provide space for informal lawn activities. Potential Development Costs to Optimal Level: $200,000 to $300,000 for listed general park improvements. An additional $250,000 to $300,000 is needed if the skateboard park is developed. Relocation of power lines would be an additional cost.
I last blogged about this issue in Dec: Public Open House for Ames Park Master Plan tonight; focus on Skate Plaza. 33 comments are attached to that post.
Update 2/23, 1:30 pm: Bonestroo sent me this cool 4-page PDF of Ames Park.