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Public input sessions set for neighborhood parks

By Staff | Sep 12, 2019

Want your new local park to have the features you desire?

The City of Cape Coral will hold three meetings to gather public input for the design of seven new neighborhood parks that are featured in the Parks Master Plan.

The meetings will be held Sept. 17, 18 and 19, each running from 6-8 p.m.

The Sept. 17 meeting will be held at Oasis Middle School, the 18th at Diplomat Elementary and the 19th at Christa McAulliffe Charter School. All meetings will be held in the cafeteria of each school.

“These meetings will all cover each of the seven specific sites,” said Keith Locklin, Cape Coral Parks and Recreation superintendent. “We promised all along that there would be public input. We’re bringing these parks into certain neighborhoods, and we want to make sure what we put in the parks are what people really, really want.”

The new parks up for discussion include:

* Crystal Lake Park — Caloosa Parkway & Northwest 43rd. Budget: $3.19 million. Anticipated opening: 2021

* Cultural Park — Cultural Park Boulevard. Budget: $4.51 million. Anticipated opening: 2021

* Gator Circle Park — Garden Boulevard & De Navrra Parkway. Budget: $2.57 million. Anticipated opening: 2021

* Lake Meade Park — Northeast 12th Avenue off of Kismet Parkway. Budget: $4.09 million. Anticipated opening: 2021

* Oasis Woods Park — Oasis Boulevard & Southwest 38th Terrace. Budget $2.43 million. Anticipated opening: 2021

* Sands Park — ands Boulevard. Budget: $3.86 million Anticipated opening: 2021

* Tropicana Park — Tropicana Parkway west. Budget: $2.93 million Anticipated opening: 2021

According to officials, many of the future park designs will include playgrounds, multi-use paths, open spaces, picnic areas and shelters, fitness stations, restrooms, grilling areas parking and outdoor courts. The core design and amenity plan is built around the city’s popular Joe Stonis Park, a 16-acre park on Ceitus Parkway off of Burnt Store Road.

Locklin said the input sessions are a way for residents to help the city personalize what the new parks may include, so that residents in the areas of these new parks can utilize them to their fullest capacity.

AE COM, the consultants for the projects, will be on hand to deliver a brief presentation and instructions on how to participate in the design process.

Locklin said he envisions “stations” of sorts, where each new park’s details will be laid out based on previous meetings and discussions.

Residents will be able to fill out comment cards on what they believe the biggest needs/wants of the new facilities are.

“They can come in and rank what they like the most, or the least,” Locklin said. “We want to know what they’d like to see in their neighborhood parks. We will have a mechanism for taking suggestions.”

Locklin, along with other city staff will be at each meeting to help with any questions, comments or concerns.

Amenities available for each of the seven locations will be listed, with the overwhelming question being, “what is the need in each community?”

Those who are not able to attend the meetings can still have their input heard by the city via its website.

Locklin said a Parks Go Bond survey will be on the home page where residents can share their thoughts or ask questions. Input from the website will be passed along to the consultants of the project.

Once this phase of the process is done, and all public info and ideas are gathered, a “final product” of each park will be presented to the Cape Coral City Council.

The $60 million Parks Go Bond was approved in 2018 that will see the expansions of Cape Coral’s parks and recreation facilities — all part of the city’s Parks Master Plan. The 15-year general obligation bond is set to back substantial parks and recreation improvements throughout the Cape.

The additional parks and refurbished facilities are being constructed now, as the city anticipates to grow from the nearly 200,000 current residents, to 400,000 at buildout.

Upgrades include the aforementioned seven new neighborhood parks, three community parks and Yellow Fever Creek Environmental Park — as well as refining the existing 19 parks in the city.

According to the city, all GO Bond projects are expected to be completed by 2022.

Oasis Middle School is at 3507 Oasis Blvd.

Diplomat Elementary is at 1115 NE 16th Terrace.

Christa McAulliffe Charter School is at 2817 SW 3rd Lane.

Visit capecoral.net to submit your public input online.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj