Shelter Addition Adds to Konkel Park's Appeal
Beginning next summer, residents and visitors will have a traditional park shelter available in a "hidden" part of Konkel Park.
Konkel Park has long been the crown jewel of Greenfield’s park system.
Its prominent location coupled with its amenities – softball diamonds, volleyball courts, a playground, pavilion and gazebo, among them — have made it a source of entertainment for residents and visitors alike.
But did you know there’s a whole other “half” of Konkel Park, and that construction on a beautiful new pavilion there was completed this fall and will be ready for public use sometime next summer?
“This brings a sense of awareness to how big Konkel Park is,” Parks and Recreation Director Scott Jaquish said. “A lot of people think it stops at the (walking) bridge. They don’t realize that there’s a park back here.”
The project, which began in June, was part of city’s master plan and adopted in the comprehensive outdoor recreation plan more than five years ago. The use of block grant dollars paid for playground equipment in 2006, and six years later, the area now has a traditional park shelter.
In addition to the shelter and playground, there is a large grassy area, a walking trail and a 55-stall parking lot constructed by the city’s Division of Public Works Department south of the shelter on 51st Street.
“The DPW did a great job of getting the parking lot done, and in working with them we were able to smooth out the (open area) and the topography of the trail,” Jaquish said. “The ground back here was terrible fill material. We were able to level it out and use some of the ground from the parking lot area. We’ll top it off and do a fall seeding to establish a turf.”
Jaquish said his department will probably hold off booking any rentals of the shelter until around July 1, to give the turf time to establish, but after that he’s expecting it to be booked every weekend.
“This certainly fills a big need,” Jaquish said. “From early March, give or take, every shelter is booked through the summer with a rogue date here or there. We’re fielding calls all spring and summer from people looking for dates and when we can’t accommodate them, that’s lost opportunity. That’s lost revenue.”
The shelter came with a price tag of $320,000 and was paid for through block grant dollars and park impact fees, according to Jaquish, who said no taxpayer dollars were used to fund the project.
Jaquish said his department is evaluating its park facility rental policies and is uncertain at this time how much it will cost to rent the new shelter, which will accommodate up to 120 people on more than a dozen picnic tables for events like reunions, graduations and family picnics.
“This will be a preferred rental spot back here,” said Parks/Facilities Supervisor Eric Swenson, who worked closely with Jaquish on the project.
The location will also serve as the site for the parks and recreation department’s family camp out and Movies in the Park, and is one of a few locations being considered should the city host a farmer’s market next year. It will also be the location of the city’s 2013 Arbor Day celebration.
As for what’s next for the parks and recreation department, which added the Community Center to its bag of goodies in July 2011, Jaquish said the focus will be shifted to trails, walking paths and connectivity between parks.