Town's first major park on the drawing board in Winfield

2014-03-06T00:00:00Z Town's first major park on the drawing board in WinfieldSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
March 06, 2014 12:00 am  • 

WINFIELD | Ball fields, a town common and a band shell are planned on a nearly 12-acre site proposed as the town's first major park.

The acreage is being donated to the town by Providence Real Estate, developer of the Stonegate and Stonegate Commons subdivisions.

"This is very exciting for the town," Clerk-Treasurer Rick Anderson said. "It's our first medium-to-large park."

The acreage is shown in a final concept prepared by the firm DLZ west of Randolph Street, south of 109th Avenue, at the northern end of Stonegate subdivision.

Twin ball fields border the northern boundary of the park, with a town commons south of the ball fields. A band shell faces out onto the town commons from the southwest corner, in the final concept.

Trails encircle components of the park, dotted by picnic shelters, and surround an area to the southwest set aside for native grasses and other plantings, according to the DLZ design.

Town officials are in the process of identifying funding sources for creation of the park, Anderson said.

Money to pay for playground equipment, park benches or other park equipment  made of recycled materials could come from about $45,000 set aside by the town from countywide recycling program funding, Anderson said.

Decisions on funding and the use of ball fields and other components of the park will be up to the town council, Anderson said.

Acreage for the park arose from the town's adoption several years ago of an open-space and park plan, calling on developers of residential land to provide a certain amount of open space dedicated to parks, Anderson said.

"We had to be a little proactive and start  this planning for parks, which is now working out for us," Anderson said.

A young town at just 20 years old, Winfield had established three smaller parks, called tot parks, but hadn't built the kind of big parks other, longer established communities have, Anderson said.

"We had hoped this larger park would have been developed sooner," Anderson said. Plans were delayed when the housing market stalled a few years ago.

"Now it's come back very well," Anderson said. "The town is very interested in moving forward with this."

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