by Marianne Gasaway
Clear Lake City Council members got their first look at concepts for a new city park Monday.
Kristy Sagdalen King, of Bergland + Cram, Mason City, presented ideas a local committee has developed for an all-inclusive playground which will be constructed at 109 S. 15th St. where Cerro Gordo County once housed machinery. The City purchased the property earlier this year for $250,000 with the intention of expanding its Aquatic Center and creating an Everybody Plays Playground.
Inclusive playgrounds are designed to provide children and families of all physical, mental and social abilities and ages an opportunity to play together in an integrated, sensory-rich environment without the barriers that traditionally exist on a playground. The nearest similar playgrounds are located in Cedar Falls and Ames.
Sagdalen King said a steering committee of approximately 15 persons have been participating in a variety of planning activities for the new city park. Their ideas were translated into schematic drawings for Council review.
“We started to talk about what is the best a park can be,” explained Sagdalen King. “Aside from just some playground equipment added onto a site, (we thought about) what else it can be and how can we think about a park adding value to Clear Lake... Really, the way a park can serve the community best is to be specific.”
She discussed the goal of making the park a safe place, given its proximity to a road and intersection, while also feeling part of the pool campus.
The design shared with the Council featured a parking lot which would be accessed off of South 15th Street.
A splash pad and shelter building would be situated immediately east of the existing Aquatic Center building. The playground, surrounded by green space, trees and a trail around its exterior, would be located north of the swimming pool.
Sagdalen King noted the separation between the playground and splash pad would help parents direct children to specific park amenities, keeping water features separate from playground activities.
“We kept the splash pad far enough away, so that if parents don’t want their kids wet, they can keep them away from that area,” she said.
The new playground area would include restrooms separate fromTo read more of this article, please login or sign up for our E-Edition