SYRACUSE — Syracuse Park Board held a planning session with the neighbors of Laudeman Park Monday evening, March 11. Pat Brown from SiteScapes was present to assist in the planning and gathering of input from the neighbors, which will be put into a conceptual plan to bring to the next meeting.
“What do you want to see at this park?” Brown asked. “What do you not want to see at this park? We want to make a park for the residents that will be used and enjoyed by all.”
City Council Member Bill Musser commented he is concerned about the pond and the danger it could pose to children. Another neighbor seconded the concern, especially during winter time when kids would try to walk across the ice.
A third neighbor chimed in, stating they’d prefer to not to have something busy as most of the other parks provided playground areas. Something quiet and simple is something they would like to see, to which the board agreed is the general idea for Laudeman Park is to cultivate a natural landscape.
Brown added building something large and elaborate could overcrowd the park and leave little room for anything else. Spinning off that, another neighbor commented a busy park would eventually need a water hook up and restrooms.
A small walking trail was added to the list of ideas. The trail would give neighbors the opportunity to walk on it after dinner or sometime during the day.
Board President Dave VanLue said he would like to see a potential connection to the trail from Syracuse Elementary and Wawasee High School, stating it would provide opportunities to see native Indiana trees or water studies for classes.
Before the April meeting, the plan will be shared with neighbors and the rest of the town to gather further input. The next step will be to create a list of priorities in the development stage.
At the end of the session, neighbors expressed appreciation for the way the park board handled the planning by considering their suggestions and opinions. Brown assured them just because the ideas are on paper, it does not mean they’re set in stone and can be altered in the future.
After the planning session, the park board continued with its regular meeting. Jerry Riffle reported for tree board 14 trees will be planted, and the applications for the Tree City USA and Tree Growth award were submitted.
Regarding the parking lot lighting, Parks Superintendent Chad Jonsson presented price quotes from a few companies for fixtures and poles. In looking at the preventative maintenance plan, Jonsson stated there is the intention to work on the curbing of the islands in 2025, which could be done during the replacement of the light poles.
Jeff Nicodemus asked about putting flood lights on the community center walls as a temporary solution. VanLue supported the idea as it may be just as effective. Jonsson plans to provide flood light quotes in the April meeting.
Registration for the fifth annual Mudtastic Classic Saturday, June 22, opens March 18. Participants can register at the community center or online at www.runreg.com/mudtasticclassic. Fees are $15 per youth and $25 per adult.
Eight spots are left for the Tinker Bell Princess Party Saturday, March 23, at $15 per child and $10 per adult. To register, stop by the community center.