Community input sought for Prairie Township park

By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

A park proposal from nearly a decade ago is finding renewed interest.

The proposal aims to convert two parcels of land at the corner of Hubbard and Dellinger roads into a park that could include features like a walking trail, playground area, volleyball courts and open greenspace.

Prairie Township acquired the two parcels of land that have a total area of 5.48 acres in 2010. For several years, trustees considered converting the land into a recreational space for residents. A conceptual drawing was even created in 2015 and uploaded to the township’s website.

Prairie Township Administrator James Jewell says he believes officials put the idea on hold to focus on other projects like the community center and the sports complex.

However, a recent inquiry has brought the idea of turning the corner of Hubbard and Dellinger roads into a community space back to life.

“I recently received a request from a resident in the area for the park to be constructed,” Jewell said. “They saw the plan on our website.”

Now, Prairie Township officials are seeking feedback from residents about the proposed project to help shape what the space could look like.

“Based on conversations that trustees have had with other residents, they directed the staff to have an open house to ask the community for their opinion,” Jewell said.

The open house, which is open to the public, will take place at 6 p.m., March 15, at the Prairie Township Community Center, 5955 W. Broad St., Galloway.

“At the open house, we will be asking those in attendance first if they want a park, then if the proposed plan needs updated,” Jewell said. “If they answer yes, what additions or what should be removed from the plan?”

Jewell said officials will distribute questionnaires that request feedback from residents. The township mailed invitations to the open house to homes in the Lake Darby and Westpoint communities, and already has received some feedback from residents who cannot attend the meeting, he said.

If there is a desire to construct a park in that space, Jewell says the existing conceptual drawing will be revised using public remarks. Currently, in addition to a walking trail, playground area, volleyball courts and open greenspace, the plans include features like basketball courts, a picnic pavilion, lighting and a bathroom.

“Once we have an updated conceptual drawing, our engineering consultant would complete a preliminary construction estimate,” Jewell said.

If the board of trustees decides to move forward with the project, the design and reviews would take about a year to complete, he said.

“Construction could start the following year,” Jewell said. “It could be completed in one construction season.”

Grant opportunities could fund the proposed park, he said. If those are not successful, trustees would need to decide on whether the township would authorize paying for the park using general funds.

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