On October 13, Pat Slaven from the Omaha Parks Department hosted a public meeting on the renovations in Hanscom Park. (See the city's announcement here.)
Pat's goal was to share initial high-level designs for the park and get feedback on whether things were generally moving in the right direction. Individuals working on the CSO project, from the Public Works department and their landscape design contractor, Big Muddy Workshop, also presented on a "green infrastructure" approach being considered for the park. Pat offered the Hanscom Park Renewal team a few minutes at the beginning to share about the role neighbors have played (and will play!) in the project.
See the presentation slides and more details below...
1. Hanscom Park Renewal Presentation (slides 3-10)
- Kim Howe of HPR gave a recap of how input was gathered from the community, what the volunteer teams are working on now, and how neighbors can help going forward. Attendees were invited to attend Thursday, October 29, at 6:00pm, at inCOMMON (1340 Park Ave.) to address some specific elements (maintenance, amphitheater feasibility issues, etc.).
- The presentation also highlighted the fact that while Pat has worked hard to integrate neighborhood input into a design, there's not enough money to do everything. If neighbors want to see more done, they need to help make it happen through fundraising, advocacy, or elbow grease. Get in touch with HPR to learn more!
2. Pat's Park Design Presentation (slides 11-20)
- Pat Slaven, Park Planner, reviewed the neighborhood input received over the past 8 months and then showed a high-level map showing how that input had been worked into the plan. She then went through some specifics...
- Playground (slide 14): Pat proposed to relocate the playground to higher ground closer to the pavilion, and feature a hill slide and bowl-swing. She plans to work with the HPR Playground Team to finalize the rest of the design and equipment. This part of the plan is currently fully funded.
- Northeast Corner (slide 15): A naturalistic-style amphitheater (originally suggested by residents) was deemed to be technically possible in this area, but it's still not funded. If we want to see it there, we will need to raise money for it. Pat also indicated that there could be other "active use" elements, such as disc golf, added near/around the amphitheater to keep it in use throughout the day.
- Path System (slide 16): Over the last 8 months, residents have identified a number of desired new or improved pathways throughout the park. Pat asked attendees to vote on the top 3 most important path updates, in case there is not enough funding to do them all.
- Active Recreation (slide 17): A number of low-cost upgrades to the soccer field, ballfield, and tennis courts were proposed. Depending on the cost of the playground, there may be funds for some or all of these currently.
- Minor Improvements (slide 18): Several other low-cost updgrades to the lagoon, picnic areas, and fishing pier were proposed. Depending on the cost of the playground, there may be funds for some or all of these currently.
- John Royster of Big Muddy (the landscape architecture firm hired by the city to help design portions of the CSO project) shared about a possible approach for dealing with the stormwater runoff issues impacting the park in the wooded ravine area and the ditch between the baseball and soccer field. He answered the following questions...
- What is the CSO project? (slide 21)
- What problems or issues is the project working to solve? (slide 23-24)
- What parts of the park will it impact? (slide 25)
- How might Green Infrastructure help and how has it been used elsewhere? (slides 26-32)
- Where are we in the planning of the project and overall timeline? (slide 33)
Finally, attendees were asked to provide feedback to the city on this form and to vote on their preferred path system on this map. We encourage you to submit any feedback you have to Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here and we'll make sure it gets to her!