Possible features include play equipment, splash pad, dog area
A larger green space area, splash pad, kids play area, dog area, picnic area, and water fountain feature are all potential ideas that could be coming to Osseo.
The city of Osseo is working on ideas for what Boerboom Veterans Park might look like in the future. The city council has been looking at ways to improve the park. The city plans to expand the park to cover the entire city block, which would double its current size. Currently, the three of four homes located on the block with Boerboom Veterans Park are owned by the city and are being rented out. The city has had talks with the fourth homeowner, but not has been made official.
At the council’s April 10 meeting, it heard from city engineers WSB regarding ideas for how the new space could best serve the community. WSB’s Landscape Architecture Group has been tasked with developing a maser plan for the park, which will serve a guideline for the future development. This team has created three concepts, each with different uses for the park.
Ryan Ruttger, WSB Landscape Architecture Group, presented the city council with the three different design concept options for the park April 10.
The first, entitled the Town Lawn option, would include adding a water feature, adding a seat wall, relocating the memorial benches, relocating the band shell to the east side of the park next to a bigger open lawn area, a potential play area, large central picnic shelter, picnic area and potential community garden.
Second option, Urban Play, would include relocating the memorial wall and memorial benches, creating an memorial entry plaza, adding a central plaza with table seating, separate play areas, creating a large picnic shelter and picnic area, having a shade structure, adding a splash pad, and having an open lawn area that could be flooded in the winter for skating.
The final option, Garden Park, would relocate the band shell further into the park, add a rain garden, have an enclosed community garden, have an open lawn area, have a nature play area, add native grass plantings and native flowers and shrubs, have a fenced dog run area and relocate the memorial benches.
During the Osseo Lion’s Roar festival and at a public open house, the community was asked for its input on the park concepts. City staff and the Parks and Recreation Committee has also given its input.
According to WSB, “Park visitors enjoy the regular events and performances held in the park, but would like to see more day-to-day activities available for park users of all ages.”
Most people also agreed that a new park should include a play area, a water feature, more open lawn space, more tables and seating, native plantings, a picnic shelter and restrooms. WSB reports that people were split on whether the park should have a splash pad, dog park, skate park and a community garden. Some people were concerned over the increased cost for building and maintaining a splash pad.
The council also gave some feedback during its April 10 meeting.
Councilor Mark Schulz said, “With these concepts, you are definitely moving in the right direction.”
He added he liked the idea of a splash pad, but wondered how much it would cost to build and maintain it.
“The water feature that has been proposed, I just have a feeling that the cost of maintaining and installation of those is cost prohibitive for this small space,” councilor Harold Johnson said. “I would prefer not to see that splash pad.”
As for a dog park, Schulz said he wondered if the dog park concept might not be big enough for the all the dogs to use all at once.
Johnson also said he felt there needed to be a designated dog area in the park for all the dogs in town. He felt the Town Lawn option was his choice.
Councilor Anne Zelenak said she did not want to take a dog park/area off the table.
City Administrator Riley Grams said of the dog park, “If you really want to it right, you have to make it large enough. And my biggest concern is if we try to stick a dog park in there, it would be too small. Having it too small isn’t going to help anyone. I don’t think it would get the use that it would deserve if it was too small.”
Councilor Larry Stelmach agreed that he like the Town Lawn option the best. Mayor Duane Poppe said that this option helps with the city’s activities in the park.
Based on all the feedback, WSB will continue working on creating one preferred concept for the future expanded park. WSB said the concept would be a refined version of the Town Lawn option.
Some of the features could include: relocating the band shell to the east side of the park with proper orientation for the sun; and the plaza space would have tables, seating, seat walls and a fountain.
A new play area with equipment and maybe a splash pad. There would also be a large central picnic shelter, restroom, improved lighting, a dog area, more plantings including native plantings and an enhanced mid-block crossing at Central Avenue.
The preferred concept plan will presented to the Parks and Recreation Committee and Osseo City Council at upcoming meetings. After final revisions, the plan would then go back to the city council to be formally adopted as a master plan for Boerboom Park. The final plan would be accompanied by suggestions for potential phasing, as well as preliminary estimate of construction costs.