Ashland Parks & Rec Commission to give presentation on the 6.5-acre project
By Holly Dillemuth, Ashland.news
Ashland is in the planning stages of adding a second dog park to the city, a space that will also serve as a neighborhood park and eventually will have a bicycle skills and pump track component.
The Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission (APRC) is designing the green space at 2280 East Main Street. The commission bought more than 5.5 acres of property in 2018 from the Shaffer family, a longtime Ashland family that had owned the property since the 1960s. Last year, an additional one acre nearby at 2290 E. Main St. was purchased to create a total 6.52-acre park footprint.
Rick Landt, chair of the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission, said the park will be new but also will be a replacement for the YMCA park. The commission sold back the YMCA park to the nonprofit due to its predominant use of the space.
“It was fulfilling a commitment to the neighborhood and to the city’s comprehensive plan that there would be a park in this neighborhood,” Landt said. “We are simply adhering to that comprehensive plan, which has a goal of a park in every neighborhood.”
Funding for the East Main Park comes from money the commission received from selling two city park parcels, supplemented by money set aside years ago from the food and beverage tax, Landt said.
Landt said East Main Park will reduce traffic to the dog park at the north end of town.
“It would not make sense if the (current) dog park park was seldom used, but it’s one of our most heavily used parks, so it makes sense to address that obvious need and at the same time reduce the need for vehicle trips, consistent with the comprehensive plan,” Landt said.
A virtual, public input session on plans for the new park will be hosted by the Parks & Recreation Commission from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3. APRC and consultants will talk about a conceptual park design and the various elements involved, in addition to a tentative project timeline.
Those wishing to attend the webinar must pre-register online at ashland.or.us/EastMainProperty.
Questions may be addressed to Tara Kiewel, APRC administrative analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 541-552-2257.
Feb. 18 update: A cardinal reference to the park being “south Ashland” was first changed to “southeast Ashland,” then deleted altogether. According to Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission, “This project will offer the citizens of Ashland a park on the south end of town.”