Hartley Park improves master planThe Duluth Parks and Recreation department hosted the first city-wide public forum on Tuesday, August 13, to open the discussion on what needs to be done to improve Hartley Park.
By: Clara Hatcher, Duluth Budgeteer News
The wheels are turning on Hartley Park’s master plan.
The Duluth Parks and Recreation department hosted the first city-wide public forum on Tuesday, August 13, to open the discussion on what needs to be done to improve Hartley Park.
Tom O’Rourke, executive director of Hartley Park, said that the meeting would kick off the master plan, get the public informed and take part in the discussion and offer their suggestions of what they would like to see happen.
“The master plan is part of the city’s comprehensive park plan,” said O’Rourke. “They’ve already done one at Chester Park, so now they are shifting their sights to Hartley.”
O’Rourke explained that he would like to see parking lot access and trail management improved in the long run.
For more than 15 months, Duluth City staff, parks commissioners and park planning consultants have been working to improve the parks in a way that pleases as many people as possible. The main goal of the plan is to improve the parks of Duluth — including Chester Park, Lower Chester and other parks across the city — and create a better environment for the people that use the parks.
“We were really encouraged by the turnout at our first public meeting,” said Kathy Bergen, head of Duluth Parks and Recreation. “It just showed us how much people use the park and how much they appreciate it. There was a lot of discussion about the different trails and also about the land across from Woodland and how that can be used.”
Bergen says that her hopes for the plan are to improve the trail system for bikers, walkers and skiers and to make the trails more sustainable so they will be better to maintain in the long run.
However, there are a lot of things to get done, and still many barriers to break through in order to make it happen.
“We still have two more public meetings to schedule and a lot of things to discuss, not to mention that we have to apply for a grant,” said Bergen. “In order to get funding we must have a final plan written up. I cannot imagine that anything would start until the spring of 2015.”
For more information on the master plan and other Parks and Recreation projects, visit www.DuluthMN.gov/parks.