Grass Roots Government

Grassroots Government: Parks Board 8/8

Meeting: Tuesday, Aug. 8 

Members in attendance: Tanya Hamilton, Matt Lawyer, Lisa Cejka, Katie Brady, David Louden and Gwen Carr 

Staff Liaison: Parks Division Manager Robert Johnson 

City Liaison: Councilor Dan Kohler 

Absent: Clay Rushton, Michael Pantalone 

What happened: 

Robert Johnson brought up the possibility of a fence being installed at Ben Miller Park to prevent children from running into Alder Drive to get the board’s general idea of it. Cejka said she was not in favor of fencing off parks and making them less hospitable. Brady liked the idea as she has dealt with children running off, and asked how far the fence would go. That information is still to be determined. 

Lawyer brought up the number of people he has seen blow through the stop sign there would “probably shock you” and thought it would make sense to define the play area at Ben Miller Park, fence it, and keep the rest of the park natural. 

Brady also brought up the possibility of alternatives to a fence, such as a log to slow running children. 

Lawyer encouraged the board to table the discussion until next month’s parks tour where they can discuss it on site. 

The board then made their plan for September’s parks tour. Johnson recommended they include Ben Miller Park in the tour. Councilor Kohler wanted the Keizer Little League park to be included as he hadn’t heard a report on the fields in a while, however the board recommended and accepted to tour Ben Miller Park, Bob Newton Park and Keizer Rapids Park. 

The majority of parks reports were positive. Cejka noted that at Keizer Rapids Park she has seen numerous areas near the river that have had fires lit, including one that used briquettes and lighter fluid approximately 10 feet from dry grass and leaves. 

Johnson reported that a path has been constructed at Clear Lake. Gravel has been installed in a pathway through the grass that many kids walk through to school. There are plans to pave it in the future, and Johnson said that could become a Bikeways project. 

Johnson also reported that since its renovations, Ben Miller Park has seen more use than usual for this time of year. He also informed the board that city staff and Keizer Police have caught the graffiti artist that had been marking up Keizer Rapids Park. 

Lawyer brought up the heat wave coming, and asked about the splash pad remaining open. Johnson said they would try, but with current priorities they can’t train additional people to operate the pad. 

Kohler also asked for an update on the multi-use fields at Keizer Rapids Park, but Johnson couldn’t give one. 

Cejka finished off by mentioning KeizerFEST at Keizer Rapids Park that weekend, and Lawyer remarked on the success of the Rhythm and Business concert at the amphitheater. 

September’s meeting was officially canceled for the parks tour.