The Lovell Walking Path Committee started focusing in on the design aspects of a planned path at Constitution Park, injecting some creative ideas into the process during the committee’s latest meeting last Thursday night at the Lovell Fire Hall.
The committee met at length with Town of Lovell Parks Director Gary Emmett about the idea of starting a community walking path system at the park. Committee members have centered in on the park as the first stage of an eventual community system, with some saying they like the idea of a path at the park so they can watch their kids play while walking.
“The idea was to see what the possibilities are,” Emmett said. “I have no problem with doing a perimeter walking path. We have parking aprons around the park that we can adapt or can identify as a walking path without any problem. That could be an initial starting point.”
During discussion, Emmett said, someone mentioned that it would be boring to simply walk in a rectangle, so Emmett said he posed the possibility of a meandering path through the park itself. Committee member Jennifer Schneider said she liked the idea and a discussion ensued, with Emmett reportedly telling the committee, “I hate straight lines in landscaping.”
Emmett brought Google Earth maps of the park for the committee to work with and said the committee’s “homework assignment” is to take a map and use it to come up with ideas for where a meandering path might be located within the park.
The timing of the walking path project is perfect, Emmett said, in that his goal is to renovate the park during the next two years, noting that the sprinkler system is antiquated with tree roots breaking lines and trees in “desperate need” of pruning and thinning. And with more softball, plus baseball, being played on the diamond in the southeast corner, the park’s electrical system needs to be brought up to code, as well, he said.
“It’s just an old park,” he said. “This is a great time for a master plan for the walking path and the park, all in one. There are grants available for health and fitness.
“They can go after a grant and the town can go after a grant. Then we’ll come together for a great plan to kick off a walking path throughout the town. This can be a catalyst for that walking path.”
Emmett said he wants the committee to “scope it out, get the highlighter out and put ideas down” of what members would like to see in a walking path at the park “to keep in contact with kids but not just with a roundabout path.”
“At the next meeting we’ll start looking at ideas, then present it to the town council, and I told them they need to have their ducks in a row before going to the council,” Emmett added. “I was impressed. There are some great ideas out there. It’s a matter of coming together.”
Emmett said having a path design in place will help him plan a new sprinkler system for the park.
Committee chairman Haley Sorenson said other topics at the meeting included financing and the Earth Day fun run on April 23. She said her husband, Cameron Miller, is working on setting up a bank account so the committee can accept donations, noting that AMCOL has already offered to contribute some funds.
The committee has also worked with graphic artist Kristen Brown on a design for a T-shirt and plans are in the works to sell logo sponsorships for $100 each to raise money for the committee. Sorenson said the committee hopes to have the T-shirts produced locally, probably through Big Horn Engraving.
Sorenson said she hopes to have a route for the walking path in place by the fun run so citizens can check out the route through and/or around the park and suggest any changes if they’d like.
Anyone with ideas or who would like to sponsor the fun run may call Sorenson at 272-8655.
The next walking path committee meeting is Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. at the fire hall.
By David Peck