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New park meeting tonight

It’s not every day that city residents get to help design a new park from the ground up. Anyone interested in participating — especially residents of the south side of town, should attend a public brainstorming session at 6:30 tonight in the Ashland High School Science Building.

The city owns 5.52 acres of land at 2228 E. Main St. near Clay Street and Abbott Avenue. The property was sold to the city at a substantial discount with the stipulation that it would be used for a new park.

Parks Director Michael Black says a dog park will be a top priority for part of the project, because there is no dog park at that end of town. The rest of the park could include a variety of amenities.

Some residents have raised questions on social media about the cost, with commenters apparently assuming the nearly $1 million the Parks Department has allocated for the project would all be spend on a dog park. Black also listed a children’s playground, picnic areas, walking paths and restrooms — all more costly than a dog park. Bicycle enthusiasts have expressed interest in a pump track.

A community garden is also a possibility, if volunteers step forward to run it.

That’s where tonight’s meeting comes in.

Have concerns about what will be included in the new park? Want to have a say in how public money is spent? Show up and join in the discussion. Parks belong to everyone, and everyone should have a voice in creating them.

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