Several community members, as well as a few city officials, sat in during Monday night’s public hearing for the Knox Parks 5-Year Master Plan.
Architect Mike Reese with the Troyer Group explained that a draft master plan was written up with suggestions from the initial public hearing, the stakeholder meetings, the community survey and recommendations from the DNR.
One update that will be required at Wythogan, Heritage and Sandy Acres is accessibility upgrades that are up-to-date with recent ADA stipulations.
Reese said, the most used park, according the community survey, is Wythogan. Some ideas to improve the park included adding a second entrance and widening the existing one, fixing some lighting issues around the baseball fields and repairing the skate park.
Sandy Acres was the second most used park. Some suggestions for it included installing some nature-based playground equipment, more picnic shelters, a public restroom and walking trails.
Heritage Park was reportedly the least used park, with the majority of people who use it living nearby. Some suggestions for Heritage were installing signage and publicizing the park more as well as repairing the basketball court there and adding a picnic shelter.
Reese also discussed the proposed idea of adding a new park across from Wythogan on the other side of US 35. Some of the ideas for the new park included adding a dog park and a kayak launch.
There was also the suggestion of a installing a skating rink that could either be temporary or permanent structure, depending on how the city would want to approach such a project.
Reese explained that the DNR offers a Lake and Water Conservation Grant that deals specifically with land acquisition. Reese said as long as Knox meets all the necessary deadlines they’d be eligible for the competitive grant which could help them secure the land for the proposed new park.
The final version of the Knox Parks 5-Year Master Plan will be voted on during the park board’s next meeting on March 26th. It must be submitted to the Indiana DNR prior to April 15th in order for Knox to remain eligible for funding.
Click the following link for a full version of the Five Year Parks Master Plan for the City of Knox.