Cottageville Park neighbors bundled up against the cool fall weather Thursday evening and headed to the newly expanded green space to share their vision for the park.
Artist Ta-coumba T. Aiken encouraged residents to draw their ideas on cardboard cubes and paste photos from magazines symbolizing what they wanted in the park.
“A lot of times people build stuff and they don’t ask you what you want to do,” Aiken told a group that was primarily made up of young people. “But you live here. You live around the park. Draw what you want.”
“Can we draw a pool?” one kid asked.
Not every dream for the park was quite so big. Eycis, 9, drew a rainbow and described how she wanted to see a jungle gym and merry-go-round. Yazzmenn, 11, pasted balls on her cube and drew a swing set.
Sheri Greene, a woman who lives less than a block away, glued fish to the cardboard. Greene said the fish symbolizes her hope for a water feature of some sort. She’d also like to see an expanded picnic area and a bridge connecting the new parkland with the existing park.
Greene doesn’t go to the park that much right now, but she said the expansion will make it easier visit.
“I like the idea of it being right across the street. I like to socialize,” she said.
When residents finished making their cubes, Cuningham landscape architect Chuck Stewart took photos of them so the ideas could be considered during the park planning process. Visitors also filled a pad of paper with ideas for the park.
Thursday’s event was the first of several planned in the next couple weeks for the community to decide how the newly expanded park should look:
- Oct. 22: Cuningham Group, the company overseeing park design, will offer an early look at redesign possibilities at a joint meeting of the Park Board and Zoning and Planning Commission, said Tara Beard, the city’s community development coordinator.
- Oct. 24: Cuningham will present design options to the public and get feedback at an event at 6:30 p.m. at St. John Catholic Church.
- Nov. 13: Park designers will present a draft final plan and feasibility report at a City Council work session. There should be preliminary information on cost and phasing options.
- Dec. 4: Cuningham will present the final design to the public prior to the City Council meeting. At the council meeting, designers will present the feasibility report and final plan.
The Cottageville Park project is a partnership between Hopkins and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. The watershed district bought properties surrounding the park and demolished the buildings. The city is paying for the design and construction of the expanded parkland.
The extra green space should improve water quality, add space for residents to relax and enhance the image of the neighborhood.
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