CARTHAGE, Mo. — Carthage City Parks will soon see some big changes – an overhaul worth $5-million.
“It’s going to be restrooms that’s going to be shelters, it’s going to be trails and it’s going to be playgrounds.”Mark Peterson, Carthage Parks & Rec Dir.
Gretchen Bolander: Just the start of some sweeping changes to the Carthage Parks system.
“Those are the main things that are used on a daily basis in the park system and that really need to be the best,” he added.
The McCune Brooks Regional Hospital Trust is giving the city $5-million. It’s a start to the Parks Master Plan list of potential improvements worth $26-million that touches all seven city parks.
“Kellogg Lake is a park that we want to keep in somewhat of a natural setting with the lake and the river environment out there. A lot of open space but two things that are needed out there for young families to enjoy the environment out there, restrooms and a playground.”
Changes to Carter Park and Griggs Park.
“Grigg’s park a small park but packed all the time pickleball courts basketball community gardens, they’re, you know, there’s so many amenities great needs to use that space, better restrooms, shelters,” said Peterson.
Municipal Park already has a long list of amenities, something they hope to capitalize on.
“We hope to turn Municipal Park into more of a destination park. Right now, it’s a community park. As a destination park, and we may see a new Aquatic Center come to Municipal Park at some point in the next few years. We’re looking at a destination playground for Municipal Park, splashpad in conjunction with that, and just a lot of good things,” he continued.
Other goals stretch outside park boundaries, connecting recreation spots around town.
“Obviously trails have been discussed in the City of Carthage. So this is bigger and better concept kind of thing. Yeah, so trails can be as simple as just a walking trail in Central Park, or they can become more complex with mountain bikes, different surfaces. So there are a variety of different trails and we’re looking at acquiring some property as well. That would bring another component.”
The first projects are expected to get underway this fall. Others are farther out. But they all tie in to one central theme.
“We want our park system to enhance the community to where people want it to continue to live here. Visit here, we want those. We have a large manufacturing base, we have some great employers in Carthage when they’re hiring their employees. We want them to choose Carthage as a place to live. And our park system needs to be part of that equation for them to make that decision,” said Peterson.