Posted by on Aug 7, 2015

Steep Hill, Eroding Path

Steep Hill, Eroding Path

The weekly Thursday farmers’ market, now in its 13th year, is thriving. When it moves outside for the warm season, the market is on two levels – on the broad paved apron of the rink house building, and along the old asphalt path that leads into the park from the entrance by the stoplight intersection – down a mostly gentle-sloped hillside. The narrow path, which was put in at least thirty years ago, is starting to crumble at the edges, and the compaction caused by the market goers’ feet has eliminated the grass next to the path. Eleven years ago, now-retired Parks supervisor Sandy Straw said she’d get some broad park-style steps put into the steepest part of the hillside, to let the market users go from one part of the market to the other more comfortably, and to reduce the erosion of the hillside. But those steps are still not there, and the path needs more than ever to be redone. When word came down recently that the rink clubhouse would be renovated next year for $250,000, market manager Anne Freeman thought that the project could perhaps include the path being repaved and broadened, with permeable stone, and the steps being put in. But Park supervisor Lennox Morgan said that’s not how the City works – the rink house renovation project comes under Recreation, whereas anything outside of the building comes under Parks. Projects cannot be combined. Silos again!

Mr.Morgan said he would consider adding the farmers’ market-area steps and path and erosion control to the bottom of the Parks “minor capital” project list. But that might still take years. Is there a way to integrate Parks section projects with projects that come from the Recreation section? Is there a way for market users (farmers, customers, recreation staff) to get a seat at the table in downtown meeting rooms? Ideas are very welcome.

From the Summer 2015 Newsletter