Requests for a mile swim, the installation of an Angel of Hope Children’s Memorial and the hosting of a benefit received approval by Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department board Tuesday, April 21.
Ethan Cook, a member of the Kosciusko Youth Leadership Academy, presented an open water mile swim event request for July 25. This is his project for the class. He noted the event will be mirrored to the aqua mile. Cook told board members the event would take place from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., he has secured lifeguards and kayakers to help swimmers if necessary and has arranged to have EMS and dive team members present.
The swim would go clock wise around the lake.
Larry Plummer, superintendent, stated there would be no interference with normal park activities as park activities are not occurring at that time in the morning.
Upon approving the request, Cook was praised for having all basis covered in his request.
Returning with more information, Danielle Brown’s balloon request was found not to need approval. She reported finding biodegradable balloons were economical and could be obtained as well as eco friendly string. Upon further discussion, Plummer noted the park itself is not rented out, but if an individual or group rents a shelter, they are entitled to use of the park area.
While several park board members questioned having booths and so forth, Plummer stated “she’s doing nothing that has not been done before.” Brown is coordinating a benefit to raise money to help Ava Grace Sizemore’s family purchase a headstone for the 7 and a half month old child’s grave. Sizemore suffered from severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.
The board additionally approved the idea of a memory garden for lost children in Kiwanis Park on Smith Street. Rene Salyer, Kiwanis president, reported the club may shift gears on plans for the park from installing a playground to the memorial park. There will also be some landscaping and beautification done to the park at the cost of the club.
Fran Kelsey was present to present the memorial garden concept. She presented the board with information from The Christmas Box Angel of Hope Children’s Memorial. An angel statute, with benches are proposed to allow persons who have lost a child in any way and did not have a place to mourn the child’s loss a place to do so. Kelsey noted there are seven such locations in Indiana
The cost of the base construction and purchase of the angel (5-feet 8-inches tall with a 5-foot, 2-inch wing span) would be paid by the Kiwanis Club. It is hoped the parks department could assist with the base construction.
The idea will be taken to the Kiwanis Club to see if the project is undertaken, before final approval is requested of the park board.
During other business, Plummer noted Indiana Department of Natural Resources will be working on making the Pike Lake boat ramp, ADA compliant. The new ramp and fishing pier will be installed to the left of the existing ramp. Work is expected to occur sometime between July and October. This will include paving of some or all of the parking lot area.
Approval was also given to continue the free lunch program at Bixler Park for the ninth season. Last year 130 lunches were provided daily.
Members were given copies of the new program guide, with Plummer noted there was a savings of $2,600 on the printing cost as the printer deducted the cost in exchange for a full page ad.
The next meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. May 19.