Harness water for play part of bayfront design
Ideas like natural playscapes are why I’m serving on Traverse City’s parks and recreation commission. Traverse City’s parks are really undeserved. We have over 30 of them and I’m sure we’ve all passed by at least one of them and said, “wow, I never knew a park was there.” We don’t notice them because they tend to be open grass lots without much to draw us in except for someone mowing them.
I trust that we can do better; the bayfront design currently underway will be different.
Harness Water for Play
There has been a concerted effort, beginning with the Your Bay, Your Say, to not just design something out of the box. There is a still over a month left before the final designs are due from the consultant URS Engineering, but during the month of May there will be a series of public meetings to show the work up to this point.
There is a lot of things to like in the design and one of them is the inclusion of some natural playscapes. The image of the child at the right is an example of an element that may be included in the old zoo property. During the charrette, it was brought to the attention of the design team that an artesian well is located nearby. Currently, it is piped and discharged into the marina harbor. What a waste!
What if we could harness that water into a meandering creek that is accessible for children to play in and around? With the right design this element could serve as an educational piece, environmental improvement (water may need some cleaning), addition of a pleasant noise scape, a focal point and still allow for interaction with children and families. It would define the place.
You can download the bayfront plans (PDF), but to really understand what is being designed it’s best to attend one of the presentations during the next month. Dates, times and locations are available via the press release (PDF) and below. I’ll also be writing about the bayfront plans over the next month to highlight key features that I think show intentional design and the potential for something special.
The next public meeting is this Sunday May 16 at 4PM at the Kids Creek neighborhood Ass. meeting at building 50.
All meetings :
- May 16, 4 PM: Kids Creek Commons Neighborhood Association, Bld 50, GT Commons
- May 18, 7 PM: Recreational Authority, County Cmmn Room, Gov Center
- May 19, 7 PM: Planning Commission/Parks & Recreation, Cmmn Chambers, Gov Center
- May 20, 7 PM: Old Towne Neighborhood, St. Francis Church, 1025 S. Union
- May 21, 8 AM: DDA, Commission Chambers, Gov Center
- May 24, 12 Noon: Traverse City Kiwanis Club at Traverse City Elks Club, 625 Bay St.
- May 24, 7 PM: City Cmmn meeting, Commission Chambers, Gov Center