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New program invites community into city parks

The first "Get to Know Your City Parks" event will be Saturday, June 2 at Depot Park in Park Rapids. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

The city of Park Rapids is developing a "Get to Know Your City Parks" project this summer.

Park Rapids has several city parks. They are Depot Park, Deane Point Park, Rice Park, Lindquist Park, Red Bridge Park, Pioneer Park, Olson Ball Fields, the Memorial Forest, and the undeveloped Kaywood Park. Riverside Park and Heartland Park are within the city limits but not owned by the city of Park Rapids.

Park Rapids Park Board member Annette Detmers has been working on a project to introduce the community to some of the parks in town. A full summer of park events is planned to introduce people to the parks, teach a little history and have a good time.

The events will be held at a different park every other Saturday throughout the summer.

"We're sending letters home with kids at school so parents know about the events," Detmers said.

The kick-off event is from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 2 at Depot Park. There will be a community picnic with food provided by area merchants, face painting and games for children, DJ music and an update on the outdoor skating rink by Park Board member Paul Larson.

Saturday, June 16 will be a family picnic day at Deane Point Park. From noon to 3 p.m. families will bring their own lunch and lawn chairs. Ice cream will be provided. Activities will include family games, a pet rock class and other events.

An Independence Day commemorative celebration will be from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 30 at Rice Park, in honor of the city's founding father, Fredrick Rice. Deane Johnson will portray Rice and give a little story about the original mill site. There will be a scavenger hunt with logging and history items scattered in the park and the kids will be given a drawing of the items and will have to find and identify them. Other activities will be announced closer to the event.

A multigenerational celebration will be from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 14 at Lindquist Park. The focus will be on activities for the whole family, including grandparents and small children.

Plans are in the works for a Red Bridge Park Fishing Derby from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 21. The event might be coordinate with Take a Kid Fishing and/or senior fishing events. Details will be available closer to the date.

The last event of the summer will be from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at Pioneer Park. Popcorn and soft drinks will be available for everyone to enjoy.

Detmers has been researching the history of each park and is preparing a traveling picture and history board to take to each site throughout the summer. It will include bits of history, photographs, maps and other information.

She is looking for more items for people to share that could be included in the exhibit (copies only - no originals). The hope is that the finished product can be an ongoing part of Park Rapids' history.

She will also have a suggestion/wish list box at each event to help plan for future improvements to city parks.

"We are hoping to make this truly a community event," Detmers said.

She is seeking volunteers to share their talents or ideas for children and family activities.

For more information, or to volunteer, call Detmers at 255-5795.

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