Home City park Town of Shakopee Accepts Public Suggestions for New Huber Park Playground | Shakopee News

Town of Shakopee Accepts Public Suggestions for New Huber Park Playground | Shakopee News



For almost 15 years, the Huber Park Community Playground has been a staple in the Shakopee community.

Nicknamed “Castle Park,” the playground was sponsored by the Shakopee Rotary Club and other local organizations and built by community volunteers in 2007. The wooden playground has since entertained families in the area.

As part of its Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan, the Town of Shakopee is preparing to remove and install a new playground to replace the Castle Park.

With construction slated for 2023, the city is already beginning its planning process by soliciting public opinion on what people want in the new playground.

Amanda McKnight, communications manager for the city, said the contribution of residents is extremely important to get this project started.

“It’s our own little icon, so we want people to know and be aware of the changes that are coming, and we really want to know what they would like to see there,” McKnight said.

Community feedback

The city begins its first round of public commentary on playground ideas and designs. This conversation is facilitated by a new website for residents of Shakopee to voice their opinions.

The website displays a number of features designed for community engagement.

This includes a playground survey asking residents to share their experiences with the Huber Park playground and what they hope to see in the future playground.

The site also offers a map of the project allowing residents to comment on their suggestions and pin them on a particular aspect of the playground.

In order to foster conversation and engagement among residents, an online idea wall has been created for residents to post their general suggestions and comments. People looking at the wall may read other people’s entries and like or dislike them.

McKnight said she believes initiating community feedback will not only bring great ideas, but also help residents come to terms with the Castle Park replacement.

“I think it can be hard for some people to figure out that it’s different… but I hope people are receptive because we want to take what we all love about our park and make it better,” said McKnight.

The city will accept comments on the site until the spring of next year.

The playground designer will then create concept plans based on public feedback and return to town with potential designs. Following this, the city plans to conduct a second public opinion round to get residents to give their conceptual thoughts again.

Any proposed design will be presented to the Park and Recreation Advisory Board for approval. It will then be sent to the municipal council for approval.

Mayor Bill Mars said he recognizes the importance of Huber Park to the city and hopes the end result of this project will appeal to residents of Shakopee.

“Huber Park is the focal point of our community with a rich history,” said Mars. “We hope that any renovated or new playground will continue to attract children and families to the park.”

Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2023. McKnight said building a playground like this typically takes up to two months.

Master plan

The budget for the new playground is approximately $ 300,000 and will be funded from the City’s Park Development Fund as part of the larger Huber Park Shore and Park Integration Project.

This larger project is one of the elements proposed in the City’s Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan. The master plan document seeks to establish a framework for future development and projects involving Shakopee parks, trails and recreational spaces.

According to the document, “the city stands at a critical time when it must ensure that vision and planning for the future of parks, trails and the recreation system takes into account this growing and changing population and changing trends. in terms of recreation that people want to participate in.

The master plan was approved by the city council in 2019 and proposes developments for Huber Park beyond the renovation of the playgrounds.

The handout includes additional ideas like a seasonal pond for ice skating, a dog park, and a launch point for kayaks and canoes.

While implementing the elements of the master plan, McKnight said now is the perfect time to start working on the playing field.

“At the moment, we know we have funds to replace the playground,” McKnight said. “This is the priority because the playground has become obsolete and is sort of at the end of its life.”

The Huber Park playground will continue to be open to the public until the city prepares for construction in 2023.

McKnight said the city recognizes the personal connections many residents have made with Castle Park, but looks forward to taking the first steps to improve Huber Park and Shakopee parks and trails as a whole.

“We understand that change is difficult, but change can also be very exciting,” McKnight said. “I hope people will tell us what they think, give us their ideas and respond to our survey, because we want it to encompass what our residents want to see. “