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Residents’ thoughts sought on ideas for amenities at two Nisswa parks

Open house set Sept. 13 at Nisswa Community Center, where concept drawings will be shown

Nisswa City Park Sept. 2022.JPG
An announcement for the Sept. 13 open house to hear about proposed amenities for two city parks in Nisswa sits in the playground area at Nisswa City Park on Sept. 8, 2022.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal
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NISSWA — A new and expanded playground.

More pickleball courts.

A dog park.

A splash pad.

Walking and cross-country ski trails.

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A mountain bike skills area.

These are just a very few of many more ideas included in a parks and recreation master plan being developed for Nisswa’s existing city park and newly acquired parkland on Camp Lincoln Road.

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Nisswa area residents will have their chance to weigh in on proposed amenities for the two city parks at an open house from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Nisswa Community Center.

The city’s park and recreation advisory commission got a first peek Thursday, Sept. 1, at concept drawings that HKGI, a firm the city hired, created for each park.

The concepts provide a high level overview, said Amber Moon Peterson, Nisswa parks and recreation director.

At the open house, residents won’t choose one of three concepts for each park. Rather, they’ll look at and learn more about elements in each concept drawing, sharing what elements they like and dislike.

The commission will take that information to create a parks and recreation master plan.

The master plan will guide the city’s investments in parks and recreation for the next 15 years as the city looks at how best to take care of what it has and where changes and new ideas can have the most impact, the city’s website says.

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The city conducted an online survey to gauge residents’ thoughts, and city leaders want to hear how residents and visitors use the parks today, as well as what they would like to see in the future.

Links to survey results and the park concept drawings are available on the city website at www.cityofnisswa.com . Or visit https://hkgi.mysocialpinpoint.com/nisswa-parks-and-recreation-plan/nisswa-parks-and-recreation-system-plan .

Nisswa City Park

The three concept drawings start with small changes and lead to a totally redesigned park. Again, feedback sought at the open house is not for a particular concept, but for elements of any concept that residents favor or dislike.

Moon Peterson said survey results indicate park users feel safe, and they want a splash pad and pickleball courts.

“The majority of people feel safe in our parks, so I think that’s really important and something to be proud of,” she said.

  • Concept 1 organizes and enhances what the city already has.

“This one’s really just adding a few things in there but keeping the basic footprint the same,” Moon Peterson said.

  • Concept 2 rearranges and adds amenities. One big change offers a reoriented baseball field with a plaza, patio, bleachers and concessions, as well as more parking.
  • Concept 3 is a blank slate oriented to downtown with a totally redesigned city park.

Moon Peterson said the city may not be able to do a complete overhaul, but again emphasized that the city can choose elements from each concept that people like.
“None of this is definitive. This is all just concepts right now,” she said.

Camp Lincoln parkland

In 2021, the city received three tax-forfeited forestland lots on Camp Lincoln Road from Crow Wing County to protect the integrity of the property. The lots are across the street from Lake Hubert on the designated scenic route winding its way to the east of Hole-in-the-Day Lake.

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The 10-acre stretch is nestled between Hole-in-the-Day Lake and Camp Lincoln Road.

  • Concept 1 focuses on hiking and cross-country ski trails. It’s “pretty bare bones,” Moon Peterson said.
  • Concept 2 focuses on adventure, adding a walk-in fire pit and camping area and a mountain bike skills area.
  • Concept 3 focuses on the park being an eco destination with trails, a nature playground and nature center.

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com . Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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