Updates are planned for Children’s Park to improve accessibility and use.
“Using public input from the parks master planning process last summer, we are working toward using the space at Children’s Park better for everyone,” said Sioux Center Parks Director Lee Van Meeteren.
This spring, construction is planned on a new enclosed shelter house. The shelter, which will be centrally located in the park, will seat 85-100 people and include a kitchenette and an arts and recreation classroom.
“A new shelter house has been the subject of many conversations due to maintenance issues with the older shelter houses and the need for an air conditioned, energy-efficient building,” Van Meeteren said. “Our shelters get rented more than 150 times a year, and we want that to continue for generations to come. We want our parks to be the best place for people to spend time together.”
Following the shelter house construction, adding a paved parking lot near the new shelter and new park bathrooms are in the 2018-19 budget. The new additions will be designed with accessibility in mind, Van Meeteren said.
“During the parks planning process, people shared the need for more accessibility at our parks, so that has been a focus as we look at how to best use the space at Children’s Park,” he said.
Planned improvements for 2018-19 also include upgrading the disc golf course, some of which will be moved to allow for the new shelter house, and creating a trail head linking the parking area to the recreation trail.
"People will have great access with the parking area and recreation trail head. They can enjoy the trail, then come play in the park and even have a picnic,” said City Manager Scott Wynja. “We really see this park becoming a destination area.”
Children’s Park is the community’s biggest park after Open Space Park, featuring green space, trees, gathering places, trail connections, disc golf, and playgrounds.
“We want to upgrade what was installed in the ‘60s to meet today’s needs and uses,” Van Meeteren said. “We want Children’s Park to be a destination for people who want to be outside.”
Image: Concept of Children's Park showing the planned shelter house at the north of the planned parking area, with the recreation trail head area on the southeast corner of the parking area.