The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 2, 2011

Parks are the place to go

City looking at making destination recreation stations throughout Enid

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — City staff members are focusing on improvements that will affect approximately 30 Enid parks in an effort to draw more visitors to the community.

Parks department and Community Development Block Grant money, along with grants, will fund the projects, said Becky Hodgden, city of Enid spokeswoman. Some projects have been completed while others are pending.

Among the improvements will be playground equipment updates at Southern Heights Park and trees planted around the South Government Springs Park.

“We’re now working on a $40,000 project at Meadows Park. There will be new playground equipment, entry walkway, barbecue, new seating, lighting and ADA accessibility,” Hodgden said. “The Meadows Park project is a collaboration of the city, Park Board and the neighborhood. The city of Enid contributed $15,000, the park advisory board donated $15,000 and area residents collected $10,000.”

Parks Superintendent Melvin Key said there will be about 20 new park benches installed around town.

Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility improvements will be made at Crosslin Park. Those improvements will add to a slate that already includes new playground equipment installed and a dog park and tennis courts built in recent months. The work has been accomplished with CDBG funds and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area funds, Key said.

AMBUCS Park will see ADA accessibility improvements and $150,000 in new playground equipment. Part of the funds were matched by Enid Noon AMBUCS and 4R Kids.

“The Forgotten Church is looking for donations to build a sand volleyball court at Don Haskins Park near the basketball court,” Hodgen said.

The church frequently does mission work at the park north of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

Another project in the works is finding a new home for one of the city’s two Splash Pad parks. The water play equipment at Gore Park has been removed to make way for a new elementary school.

Playground equipment is a priority for one of Enid’s biggest parks in an attempt to draw more interest.

“We’re concentrating on making Meadowlake Park a destination park,” Hodgen said.

Renovation of the park’s playground equipment on the south side, where Enid Kiwanis Club is in the process of renovating the train and the carousel rides, is planned.

Also in the plan is a small cafe on the lake, and the Enid Trail System may be built around and integrated into park activity.

Just more than $1 million in park additions already has been completed:

• Crosslin big toy playground equipment: $39,411.50, August 2010

• Champlin Park wading pool: $35.026.37, June 2008

• Tennis court resurfacing: $67,320.00, August 2006

• Crosslin tennis courts: $468,702.25, October 2008

• Gore Park renovations with Splash Pad: $99,959.49, June 2007

• Citywide master trail plan: $68,000, June 2010

• Meadowlake signage: $4,250.00, January 2011

• Seating at AMBUCS Park: $9,768.00, January 2009

• Crosslin Dog Park: $50,712.64, May 2010

• Hoover Splash Pad: $200.136.64, May 2010.