MT. VERNON — The second phase of the parks development plan started with a public hearing Wednesday night.
“We’re sincerely interested in trying to determine what citizens would like us to do in addressing leisure needs in the community,” said Parks and Facilities Director George Bryant. “Work planning for these parks are in the early planning stages. We don’t have a timetable to implement this, but it is important to look to the future. Then, when money is available and the community is ready to move forward, we have a plan for the parks that is thoughtful and has the public’s wants and needs in mind.”
Five parks were discussed during the hearing — Lincoln Park, Optimist Park, Woodglen Park, the proposed Waterworks Street park and the proposed North Davidson Drive park.
“This is our second meeting, and we have listened to the ideas from the first and working to incorporate them into a conceptual plan,” Bryant said. “At Lincoln Park, the community wants athletic facilities, soccer and flag football joint use fields, and the water retention area could be used as ponds and wetlands.”
A petting zoo has also been proposed, and Bryant said the University of Illinois Extension Service has offered to partner with the city on the project as well as other projects at Lincoln Park in the future.
“They are interested in partnering on the petting zoo, a butterfly garden and the water areas and ponds,” Bryant said. “It could be used by 4-H and other education programs with the Extension.”
Tennis courts have also been proposed.
“The high school tennis team has been interested in looking at those due to the poor condition of the present courts at Veterans Park,” Bryant said. “We have also had suggestions of a miniature golf course as an added feature to provide a unique opportunity in conjunction with the (Aquatic Zoo).”