Wildwood seeks community input for Community Park
By: Sarah Wilson
The city of Wildwood on Oct. 11 hosted an open house session for the community to see how residents feel about its proposed plan for a Community Park, a 66-acre parcel of ground that will be located along the intersection of State Routes 100 and 109.
Among the list of amenities for the proposed plan are a dog park, playgrounds for young and older children, an all-inclusive play area for all ages, ponds, a pavilion, exercise equipment and a large trail.
Councilmember Randy Ladd (Ward 2) said the park “is going to be beautiful.”
The park also will encourage sustainability, as it will be in a central location that encourages bikes and pedestrian connectivity and maximizes public access. The design also aims to celebrate Wildwood’s native oak woodlands, prairie pockets and the overlap that creates oak savanna.
Bill Burke, of Oates Associates, landscape architect and project manager for the project, said residents’ reactions to the plan are two-fold.
“‘Yay, it’s going to be a park, and it’s continuing to move forward,’” Burke said. “The second has been a consistent message from the first phase, which is, ‘If we live near the park, we have these concerns and issues,’ which we’ve realized and we’ve addressed in this park.”
Resident questions and concerns have been mostly in regard to noise, lighting and adjacency to different amenities.
“But I think once we explain to them what we’re doing then they’ll feel like we’ve been good listeners in doing it,” Burke said.
He said, going back to a resident survey in 2010, the main amenities that residents were excited about were picnicking, playgrounds and walking trails.
Oates Associates and Nelson Byrd Woltz in July were hired to create construction drawings for Phase I of the Community Park, which will ultimately be utilized for bidding purposes.
“I think it will be unique, and it seems like it’s been getting good support,” Burke said.
For more information or to view the proposed plan, visit http://www.cityofwildwood.com/egov/docs/134866798791.htm.