09 February 2012

Business Alliance Meeting Discusses Fontenelle Park

The February 8th meeting of the Benson-Ames Alliance was devoted to a discussion of the future of Fontenelle Park.

The meeting involved a brief introduction of future options and then a general presentation of suggestions.

John Royster, of the Big Muddy Workshop, was the meeting facilitator. There was also a representative of the Omaha Parks Recreation and Public Property.

Items mentioned by the crowd, included:

  1. safety a concern and influences whether people visit
  2. want more visibility and more people visiting
  3. North High students want trails, soccer fields (that might get placed in the southern extent of the park), and fishing and boating in an enlarged lagoon
  4. provide programming and instruction to increase use of the park facilities
  5. have a dog park
  6. put a nine-hole disc-golf course on the space east of the boulevard
  7. support naturalistic uses including a recreated creek into the lagoon, add a biorention garden on the south end, and include a wetland at the lagoon
  8. plant flower gardens using native plant species

It was pointed out that the park plan needs to consider those options that are being provided by adjacent programs, such as Northstar. This program already has flat property suitable for soccer, and which could be located near their current outdoor facilities.

In regards to a dog park and disc-golf, these two features are planned for relatively close Levi Carter Park.

A final public meeting on the devised plan will be the evening of February 16th at the park pavilion.

A decision on the future of the golf course would occur soon afterward. There was no information available on when the course would be closed, if that was the decision made by city officials.

A short-fall of $111,000 in 2011, plus additional losses in previous years, is why the future of the golf course is being considered.

About seventeen people were present during the meeting at the park pavilion.

Previous meetings, including public meetings, have been held with Northstar, a "private meeting" attended by people interested in sustainability, and with the Edmundsen Outreach program.

The expected changes associated with the CSO! project would occur in 2015.