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Wednesday, Apr 02 2014 06:00 AM

Residents help plan future of Meadowbrook Park

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Matt Young, district manager of the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District, along with representatives from Quad Knopf, the engineering firm in charge of developing a conceptual site plan for Meadowbrook Park, discussed what changes residents would like to see be made to the park at a public meeting on Tuesday, March 25. Scott Camp / Tehachapi News

Pictured is the concept plan developed by Quad Knopf, the engineering firm in charge of developing a conceptual site plan for Meadowbrook Park. Changes include a new exercise area, relocation of the dog park, two basketball courts, and a concrete stage. Quad Knopf, along with members from the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District hosted a public meeting on Tuesday, March 25, to hear what changes residents would like to see be made.

More than 60 residents of Golden Hills gathered last week to help guide the development of a conceptual site for Meadowbrook Park, which many agree is in much need of a makeover.

The Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District, along with Quad Knopf, the Visalia-based engineering firm in charge of developing the conceptual site plan, hosted an interactive public meeting to hear firsthand from park-goers what changes they would like to see be made.

Dan Garver, a landscape architect, along with Mike Ratajski, the senior project manager from Quad Knopf, headed the meeting on Tuesday, March 25.

Of the 62 people were present, 42 residents were given remotes to answer a number of multiple choice questions that gauged their preferences.

"The concept of developing a conceptual site plan and involving the public is something that's trending nationwide," Matt Young, TVRPD district manager, said at the meeting.

When asked what their main reason for using the park is, 36 percent of residents said for exercise, while 26 percent said to bring their kids to use the playground.

And 43 percent of attendees also said that they would be in favor of a nature-themed park.

The conceptual plan developed by Quad Knopf, which is subject to change based on input from the meeting, includes replacing the current dog park at the northern end of Meadowbrook with an exercise area, a rock climbing area along with a misting station, two basketball courts, three playgrounds for different age groups, a concrete stage for park events, among others.

The exercise area would include numerous stations for yoga, pilates, and other activities. It will also include a northern access point to Freedom Trail.

The dog park, which many argued is too far from the entrance to Meadowbrook, will most likely be moved to the southern end of the park, below the parking lot near Westwood Boulevard and Red Apple Avenue.

Other possible changes include an eight-foot wide walkway surrounding the park, a concrete dance floor and stage.

Part of the conceptual plan includes what the district referred to as "environmental and economical stewardship." There will be a 28 percent reduction in the amount of turf that needs irrigating, along with a more efficient watering system that will save the park hundreds of gallons of water.

Young said the conceptual site plan, which cost the district $33,600, is likely to be completed by the end of April. He added that construction, which will be done in three phases, will begin somewhere in the next six months to a year.

"One things we want to be conscious of are the events we have coming up," Young said. Therefore, late fall would be the earliest that construction would begin, he said.

The entire project is estimated to cost the district close to $1.7 million, according to Young.

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2014/10/29
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