by Richard Uhlhorn
- Chelan residents and others from outside the city limits are very interested in the findings of Chelan’s consultants who are working on a five year master plan and conceptual design for Don Morse Park.
The Parks and Consultants held a public meeting on Wednesday, February 2, with an estimated 20 people in attendance.
Art Thatcher – a manager at Berry Dunn’s park and recreation group, told those in attendance that they would be present the results of the community survey conducted through the City billing process and over an open link internet connection. They received 435 surveys by mail and another 710 people took the survey on the City’s open link for a total of 1145 respondents. “The response was much higher than 10 percent which is the norm,” said Thatcher.
Females responded 2:1 over males and 85 percent who responded by mail are permanent residents and 82 percent on the Open Link were also permanent residents.
“The importance falls along the line of users,” Thatcher said.
In order of importance to Chelan residents, public access to Lake Chelan was No. 1 followed by more trails and pathways, Don Morse Park, and Lakeside Park.
Dave Peterson, a member of the team said, “One of our tasks was to go out and look at the parks.” He also stated that they looked at other local amenities like the PUD Parks.
Peterson went on to say that Restrooms are very important to people. “It makes their visit more comfortable.”
All three City Parks Playgrounds scored very low. A Destination Playground along with a Splash Pad was high on the list. Dog parks were also high on the list of needs by residents. The Skate Park would be moved and rebuilt as an actual park with a Pump Track added.
The Putting Course which brought in $60,000 in revenues before COVID would be removed to open the park up for other amenities. The Go Kart Concession would also be gone, but could relocate to a new location.
Julia Culp, a Bernardo/Willis Architect principal, said the team was also looking at the community waterfront. “We want it to be ADA accessible.” She also mentioned larger playgrounds, opening up lake views by getting rid of trees that block views. She also mentioned an open lawn space that would replace the basketball courts and picnic area. It could be used for a Farmers Market, concerts and other events.
Following are some of the survey results:
- More Public Access to the Lake
- More Trails and Bike Paths
- Winter Activities
Improvements over the next 5 to 10 years:
- A Community Farmers Market
- Additional Youth Sports Opportunities
- Enrichment Classes
- Senior Programs
- Public access to the lake
- More trails and bike paths
- Dog parks