riverside and frog island charrette

MM.com is looking for a community reporter willing to objectively cover a design charrette to be held at the Ypsi Senior Center this Thursday, November 8 on the subject of Riverside and Frog Island parks. Chris Mueller, the landscape architect who designed and oversaw the building of the much-loved Frog Island Community Garden (pictured here in its infancy) will be moderating. (The current master plan, which expires at the end of ’07, can be found here.) According to the information I’ve seen, the final park design and master plan will be submitted shortly to the DTCDC for grant consideration, so if you want to have your voice heard, now might be your last chance. I’m not sure how much the conversation will center around the future of the parks, should responsibility for their care be turned over to community groups as is called for in the City’s solvency plan, but I imagine that it’s got to be a consideration.

It’s also probably worth mentioning that, from what I’ve heard, an early iteration of the park master plan called for the rerouting of the Huron River so as to once again make Frog Island an island. I don’t think it’s still being considered, as it’s a horrible, pointless, multi-million dollar idea, but I think it illustrates the need for community input. Now, I think we’d all agree, isn’t the time to be thinking about moving rivers.

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  1. Posted November 4, 2007 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    A few notes from a planner’s-eye view:

    The re-islanding of Frog Island was something that appeared in the 1998 Huron River Corridor Master Plan, and was included in the 1997 and 2003 Parks & Recreation Master Plans. It is unlikely to appear in the 2008 Parks & Rec plan (or ever again) – speaking out against this idea is probably not the most useful input you could provide at this point.

    Chris is working for (being paid by) the DTCDC, but has been talking to the city’s Recreation Commission as well – it would be more accurate to say that the final park design that Chris comes up with, for the CDC, will be submitted to the Rec Commission for insertion into the Parks & Rec master plan. (Because the DNR and some other major park grant funders want to see that a project is in your Rec Master Plan before they consider your application.)

    Your link goes to a gMail login page? There are two design sessions on Thursday at the Senior Center, from 3-5:30pm and 6-8:30pm; come to whichever is more convenient.

  2. mark
    Posted November 4, 2007 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Hey, thanks, Murph. Sorry I wasn’t clear on that. I didn’t mean to suggest that river-moving was on the agenda. I just wanted to illustrate that bad ideas can get put into master plans unless there’s lots of community input, etc. And, yeah, I guess that didn’t link to the PDF of the invite I received like I thought that it would. Thanks for posting the hours.

  3. Posted November 5, 2007 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    > unless there’s lots of community input, etc.

    I’ve seen some cases of bad ideas going into master plans because of community input, as well. Maybe somebody who was involved in 1998 can tell which case it was here?

  4. Kurt A
    Posted November 8, 2007 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I just returned from the Charrette and wanted to say that it was a wonderful experience. Maps of the two parks were laid out on multiple tables and the attendees divided themselves into groups of about 6. Each group was given a list of ideas that had been proposed for the parks and was able to comment on each idea. My group crossed off those we didn’t agree with (Tennis Courts, Band-Shell, etc.) Each group was encouraged to draw on the maps and give an overview of what they would like to see in the parks. Most people then left their group and talked with other groups about their ideas.

    It seemed that everyone wanted the parks to be left alone for the most part with a few visual improvements and maintenance taken care of.

    I’m happy to say that I think the parks are in good hands and won’t be destroyed. They had the 1998 plans out and I must say I’m very glad those ideas didn’t go through.

    Kurt A>

  5. Froggy
    Posted November 9, 2007 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the report, Kurt. I wanted to get out to it but I couldn’t. I’m glad that someone did. Next time I’ll do it.

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