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Girl Scouts offer a helping hand to transform park

Park Rapids Girl Scouts have adopted Lindquist Park as a service project. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Lindquist Park in Park Rapids is undergoing major improvements thanks to collaboration between several entities.

Local Girl Scouts have adopted the park and installed plants Thursday night. They plan to care for the plants throughout the summer.

Project history, partners

In the spring of 2010, a group of interested parties came together to explore ways to improve Lindquist Park. These partners are the city of Park Rapids, the Park Board, Hubbard County, St. Joseph's Area Health Services, Heritage Community and Headwaters Regional Development Commission, with funding from the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP).

The park is about three acres in size. It is located between Fifth and Sixth streets on the north and south boundaries. The east boundary of the park is residential. The west boundary adjoins the Heritage Community.

Lindquist Park has a large open space on it's east side. The west side, adjoining Heritage Living Center, has several rows of widely spaced evergreens. The north and south peripheries of the park have scattered deciduous trees. All trees are of a mature size. Amenities in the park include playground equipment suitable for young children, two picnic tables, one barbeque grill, a sand volleyball court and a softball diamond. There are no paved surfaces in the park.

Project development

In April of 2010, St. Joseph's Community Health Staff did a survey of Park Villa and Heritage Manor residents. Mobility issues appeared to be a limiting factor for many. The most frequently requested improvements were sidewalks into the park, benches and a shelter.

The park improvement partners decided to focus on improving park access and amenities. Improved access includes both getting to the park, and improving access into the park. The goals of the partners are to improve the use of Lindquist Park by people of all ages in order to promote active living, health and wellness.

Phase I improvements

To improve access into the park, a plan was developed by Ulteig Engineering for the city of Park Rapids. Improvements began in 2010 and continue in 2011.

The city installed a parking area, sidewalk, curb and gutter along Sixth Street in the summer of 2010. These features improved access to the park and safety, especially for children and people with baby strollers or wheelchairs.

The sidewalk starts near the Heritage Cottages and travels into the park, through a small grove of pines and into an open area adjoining playground equipment. There are two rest areas along the sidewalk, which each accommodate a 4-foot park bench and space for a wheel chair.

The sidewalk into the park ends at a 30-foot diameter patio. On the patio there will be two 6-foot benches and two picnic tables that can accommodate wheelchairs. The benches and table have been ordered.

A new bicycle rack has been purchased with funds from the SHIP grant.

The following groups have provided funding for the Lindquist improvement project: $5,000 - city of Park Rapids, $5,000 - Hubbard County, $5,000 - St. Joseph's Area Health Services, $5,000 - Con Agra, $500 - SHIP grant.

Phase II improvements to the park call for a 22-foot diameter shelter on the circular patio.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561