CORONADO PARK RENOVATION Update 10/30/2007
Opinion compiled by Wayne Murray for the november meeting.
MEETING NOVEMBER 1ST 2007 EMERSON SCHOOL 6:00pm

Wanted to share some input that I received from the posting to the Forum, E-Hood, and the discussion list.  I did take some time to speak with some of the people who were walking the park in the mornings and afternoons also. I am not sure I can make it to the meeting and wanted to get the information out in case there is some item that should be added to the agenda.  These are not solely me ideas but what I have gathered, I will identify when I can.

1) one of the most important things that people mentioned and I think it went over my head at the last meeting was a point that Dot Hurd made as to the Philosophy of the Parks Department as it relates to Coronado Park.  I believe and agree with Dot that this should be determined as it determines the general direction of everything else.  Is Coronado Park considered a Neighborhood Park or a City Park?  In philosophy.  Determining factors that should be considered and residents brought to my attention are given the fixed size of the park; can it provide the functions of a City Park and also retain the functions of a Neighborhood Park? The need for additional parking that use outside of the walking distance may bring, can that be accommodated without affecting the surrounding homes and the quality of life (noise, parking, trash, lights etc.)?

2) While many of the dog walkers welcomed the idea of a off leash area, they were concerned that perhaps it may be a magnet for others who may not be as respectful of a Neighborhood Park and questioned the commitment of the parks and recreation to maintain a high standard given a limited budget.

3) Many people I found use the park as a destination for their jogging and fitness programs with a walk to and from their homes as a warm up and cool down with the jogging portion done at the park, clearly a function of a neighborhood park, and not a parking problem.  Stretching stations and periodic exercise devices were mentioned as perhaps helpful and could provide a draw to the residents to use the park.  Additionally one of the frequent joggers (sorry can’t remember her name) suggested that there be signs that explain the distances covered if you jog from certain points to certain points, a jogging plan.  This would encourage the use of the park by residents as a destination for this type of exercise, and at the same time enhance the shapes of the neighbors living in Coronado (humor). I was pleasantly surprised at how many of these individuals knew each other and the sense of neighbor community building was noticeable.  There was a lot of conversation exchange with others as I spoke to people; it was rather easy o gather input from these folk.  I think their issues need to be focused on.

4) All most every organized group sports activity was from outside of the Greater Coronado Neighborhood, reference point 1. But much of the one on one, basketball, tennis and I assume swimming in the summer appeared to be local residents based in the neighborhood.

5) There was a general feeling that the park should take on a more meandering feel and less geometric look. Not so many straight lines and grids. And that the walking or jogging paths should be encouraged to be “through” the park rather than on the sidewalks “around the perimeter’ of the park.

6) Safety and lighting was an issue but in general people felt extremely safe, and comfortable with the park.  Visibility from the street probably enhances this and well as gives a sense the park is being used in you notice even a few individuals within a broad field of vision.

7) Electricity was on interest on two different sides…..those having gatherings that wanted to same the boom box batteries and the campers with utensils, and those who want to discourage that kind of activity.  Interesting split.

8) There was concern that there is presently a lot of space that is currently “fenced” and or having a designated use. And wanted careful thought given to any additional fenced or designated areas that may go un-used by a resident neighbor, again point one determines that factor.

9) A point was made that the funding should be used for expensive enhancements to the park rather than for expensive moving, extensive redesign and renovation. Example, real effective and nice historic lighting, brick walkways rather than moving things around. I believe that Matt Conn (vp GCNA) brought up at the last meeting that it would not be unrealistic to have a architect design “enhanced exterior modifications” to the prefab planned new restrooms, that may help make the park unique and fitting with the historic character of the neighborhood.

10) Concern was raised as to the desire to continue the current irrigation and green feeling of mature landscape, rather than gravel and desert expansion. My personal opinion is that the mature landscape be totally retained as it is what adds to the feel of the age of the park.  The mature palms may not be protected under some city ordinance but they are the visible factor at the park when viewed from a distance, and upon approach.

11) There was also a desire for the second speed table to be installed on 13th with neighbors claiming success from the installation of the first one.

All in all almost everyone I talked to likes the park, and enjoy it, I guess that is why they were there.  Most of the park patrons were regular customers of the park which makes me think that it is those, or in this case these people who should be involved in the decisions of the use of the funding of the park.  They certainly were more tuned in to what was Coronado Park than I was.  They asked if it was possible that notice is posted to the Kiosk in the Park and that more detailed information be disseminated to them in the Dispatch.  A suggestion was made to perhaps have a meeting at the Park on a Saturday or Sunday morning where others, those using the park then, could stop by and ask what was up, and become involved in the process.  All were very interested in the Park that they use.

I hope that some of these points can be useful in developing an agenda for discussion on this very central feature of the Coronado Neighborhood.

Wayne

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