Sheldon, Iowa — About nine years ago, Mike Bell of the RDG Planning firm in Des Moines was contracted by the City of Sheldon to analyze the adequacy of Sheldon’s park and recreation facilities.
One of his comments was on the lack of “open green space” in city parks. This led to discussions on the newly required land in the eastern part of Sheldon including a large pond. At that time a survey of the public indicated an over-riding demand for an events center which was designed by the RDG firm and built overlooking the pond. Now, during the past few months Bell has been listening to citizens about the type of park amenities they would like to see in that area.
Wednesday evening, Bell revealed the plan for the park that will be presented to the city council at their July 2nd meeting. The plan includes an open-air amphitheater immediately south of the events center. Approximately four and a half acres of land will be green space for public use. At the northwest corner of the pond Bell proposed what he calls “neighborhood corner.” This will include a shelter house for up to fifty people, restrooms, a playground and splash pad. Since access to the pond is difficult, a fishing pier is in the plans on the west side. South of this is another shelter, lake access, and parking space. There will also be a rest station on the south end of the pond.
The design includes access to all amenities from the trail that surrounds the water area.
Bell told the people in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting that he will be approaching several state agencies for financial participation in the project. The rest of the cost will have to come from city funding and donations. Because of the size of this undertaking, the work will be done one or two sections at a time.
Updated After the Wednesday Meeting: