Many of the parks in the Coon Rapids area will be redeveloped over the next few years. The $17.4 million park bond referendum was passed in November of 2013, which has prompted the city to look into ways to get more people using the parks. During the work session on June 9th, the Coon Rapids City Council discussed some of the ideas they have for the area parks.
The city wants to invest in the parks instead of just maintaining the status quo. They want to add more recreation for young families, which they believe will add more types of community engagement across generations and diverse groups. The current city programs have experienced a lack of connection for young families and the City Council wants to fix this issue.
The only direct program for the youth in the area is the Learn to Skate program. In the past, the city has relied on Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 Community Education and various sports association for city programs.
The city plans to find a way to fill the gap between the sports associations and the community education. A budget of $96,805 was proposed to create joint programs between the school district and Coon Rapids for serving the youth. The youth programs would consist of 30 per building per quarter and would target elementary schools and middle schools during the school year.
The City Council also cut the summer playground program from the community education package for 2015. They are proposing the program be held at the newly-redeveloped Riverview Park in 2016 and at Sand Creek Park after renovations in 2017. The program will offer morning preschool and afternoon elementary-age activities for residents to enjoy.
They also addressed the adult pickleball players that have expressed the need for better parking and restrooms at Moor Park. The plans include pickleball courts with off-street parking and restrooms at Riverwind Park, which will be completed in 2017.
Many other improvements are expected for the area parks over the next few years.