JACKSON TWP. Local residents came out May 23 to hear a second presentation from Stark Parks on the development of the new Tam O’Shanter Park. It’s the final community meeting before completing the master plan.
There were only 20-30 people at this meeting versus the first meeting back in March when the clubhouse at the now closed golf course was standing room only. As with the March meeting, residents first listened to a short presentation from the consulting firm Environmental Design Group (EDG).
After taking a few questions from those in attendance, visitors were invited to review several display boards showing the nine areas EDG has broken the park into for future uses. Those areas include a constructed wetlands, pond, clubhouse, grand meadow, knoll, north pavilion, great lawn, outdoor adventure with activity center and shrub forest.
“Unless we find out we are way off base from the input we received from the last meeting, this is the last meeting before we finish the master plan and send it off to the state and then present it to our board in June or July," said Stark Parks Director Bob Fonte. “We really want to get started with some of the improvements this year. The commercial construction wants to get started this summer. Their timeline affects us because we are accepting their storm water into a wetlands area.”
Residents learned that a number of plans including the proposed closing of the current entrance and opening a new entrance at the blinking light on Hills & Dales. Plus, the master plan proposes a second possible entrance on the corner of Hills & Dales and Wackerly.
“The new entrance will line up with the flashing light on Hills & Dales, we’re proposing to change it so that persons coming into the area will see the park first instead of seeing the clubhouse,” said EDG's Kyle Lukes. “Seeing the clubhouse first is what golfers would want to see but for park goers, moving the entrance will enhance the arrival experience.”
Something else residents learned is that there will be not be a connecting road to the Jackson Township sports park area. There will be a walking trail that will allow people to go between the two parks and the commercial area.
“From our feedback, nobody wants a vehicular road between the two parks, residents want the south end to stay more quiet with a more natural environment,” said Stark Parks Project Manager Sarah Buell. “After the master plan is completed and approved, we’ll build a phasing plan that will included developing the wetlands, the habitat restoration, possibly parking lots. We’ll also start looking for grants to start building shelters and the activity areas."