What’s Facing Windsor: Projects ahead for Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department | MyWindsorNow.com

What’s Facing Windsor: Projects ahead for Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

This rendering from the Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department shows the future fields that will be added to Diamond Valley Park. The baseball field on the lower, right side of the drawing will not be included in the additions diue to financial constraints. The Diamond Valley project is one of several park projects expected to begin this year.

While the Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department has done a lot to handle the town's massive growth in recent years, including building a farmers market pavilion and expanding the Windsor Community Recreation Center, there's still more to be done, said Eric Lucas, director of the department.

Lucas said although he can't yet speak to specifics, the department is gearing up for many projects listed in its five-year plan, including future parks and a focus on culture and the downtown corridor.

"We're looking at a variety of things right now," he said.

Three upcoming park projects will help the town meet those needs, Lucas said.

Village East Park

The first project to begin this year will be a neighborhood park in the Village East subdivision, Lucas said.

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The town will soon host a public meeting for neighborhood residents to learn what they want included in the park's plans. That feedback will be included in the information sent to a design firm. More public meetings will continue in March and April before the project goes out to bid in May.

The department hopes to open the park by this fall. That timeline should be relatively simple to meet, Lucas said, because neighborhood parks don't typically include features like parking or bathrooms. They're designed for neighbors' needs rather than the regional parks that cater to people from all over the town.

Until two years ago, Lucas said, a park was added to every new subdivision in the town. But after developing a new master plan, the department decided to plan based upon where they are needed the most, rather than adding one to every subdivision.

Main Park

The playground on the western side of Main Park, 300 Locust St., is the oldest in Windsor, Lucas said.

It's 20 years old, and most parks are designed to last only 15 years, Lucas said.

Staff members of the Parks, Recreation and Culture department are working on concepts that can be included in a request for proposal from a company looking to re-do the playground.

The town's goal is to have the park completed before the Windsor Harvest Festival in the fall, which uses the park for much of its activities.

Diamond Valley

Diamond Valley Community Park, at 801 Diamond Valley Drive, will get a $3.6 million expansion that will likely begin this year and stretch into the spring or summer of 2019, Lucas said.

Lucas said the department expects to put a limit on the number of participants in its soccer programs this spring because the department is running out of field space. Having so many children interested in the sports programs is a good problem to have, he said, but it's one he hopes to solve as soon as possible.

"It's a fun challenge, but it's definitely a challenge," he said.

The park currently has three baseball fields, but the expansion will include four more, as well as 12 fields that could be used for sports such as soccer, football and lacrosse.

The town will also add a bathroom and update the parking lots, Lucas said.

Lucas and Terry Walker, the director of the Windsor Public Works Department, will talk to the town board Feb. 26 about moving the town's recycling site, he said, which currently sits where the new athletic complex should be built.

Down the road

The Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department five-year plan includes finding ways to improve the downtown corridor, where the Windsor Art and Heritage Center is located, as well as the town's cultural hub of Boardwalk Park, where the town's concert series and farmers markets are held in the summer, Lucas said.

The department is currently generating ideas, but no specific improvements have been decided on yet, Lucas said.

He and other employees in the department have also been told residents would like a splash park, so there may be one added to Chimney Park sometime in the next few years.

"There's a lot we still have to do as Windsor continues to grow," he said.

Windsor seeking public feedback on Village East Park

The Windsor Parks, Recreation and Culture Department will hold an open house from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday in the Community Recreation Center’s Pine Room, 250 N. 11th St., to discuss the design of the future Village East Park.

The park will be built in the Village East subdivision at the intersection of Cherryridge Drive and Park Edge Circle, according to a news release from the town of Windsor. The park is anticipated to be complete in the fall of 2018.

Town staff hope to hear input from the community on the design of the neighborhood park at the meeting.

The planning process includes opportunities for youth participation, and staff encourages parents to bring their children to the open house, according to the release.

For more information, call Tara Fotsch at (970) 674-3512.