At the Oct. 5 meeting of the Lodi Parks Committee, discussions were had on updating Doctors Park and Kohn Park.
The update to Doctors Park, on the corner of Main Street and Highway 113 coming into town from the north, will include a kiosk informing the public of where the Ice Age Trail leads in the area. According to committee member Luke Kloberdanz, the kiosk structure would cost about $6,300 — with that price guaranteed for only 90 days.
Because the park sits along a state highway, member Rich Stevenson said that approval for such a kiosk might have to come from the state.
Currently the committee is still figuring out where the kiosk should go, with initial plans to have it at the bottom of the slope, not near the highway.
The committee recommended to first contact the Department of Transportation to see how close a kiosk/sign can be to the road. If it’s far enough away, the DOT may have no opinion on the matter.
If future projects are to be scheduled for the park, like digging up the slope to add rocks, Kloberdanz suggests reaching out to the National Parks Conservation Association because it would involve moving dirt along a corridor to the Ice Age Trail — a national scenic trail.
For the kiosk though, a $2,000 grant from WPPI will be available on Jan. 1, and the Lodi Valley chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance will also donate $2,000 toward the project.
The committee is hopeful that the kiosk can be installed by spring, dependent on if the DOT needs to get involved or not.
The update to Kohn Park is a little more detailed.
Currently, the plot of land is on Highway 113, but adjacent to Goeres Park — on the other side of Spring Creek. The Committee approved a budget amendment to help with those updates.
Resident Charlie Luthen, who shares a property line with the park, is helping the committee with plans for the green space dedicated to conservation and preservation of native species.
“I want this in my backyard,” he said.
He plans to have the outer ring of the property mowed down, put down herbicides then have a prescribed burn in the fall to take the area back to its natural prairie vegetation, followed by another herbicide treatment in spring and seeding of the area. It was noted that the native sedges on the lower one-third of the property would not get a herbicide treatment.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would help by purchasing all the seeding at $400 per acre. The overall area of the park is 4.3 acres, but only about 3 acres would be used for preservation and conservation, a $1,200 tab for the USFWS. Goose Pond sanctuary has seed to donate, and Luthen has been collecting various seed as well.
It leaves about $3,000 worth of work left, but a lot volunteers would donate their time, cutting the remaining costs down to about $2,300 or less for herbicide treatments and other work. Committee member Bill Welch has detailed this plan to area residents and it was well-received.
Luthen would like to do a burn as soon as possible, dependent on weather — winds needs to be out of the north/northwest for minimal impact on the surrounding homes.
Mayor Ann Groves Lloyd asked if there were more thoughts about the future of the park, as she would like to see a pathway connecting it with Goeres Park.
“The more interconnected the trails can be the better. And Kohn Park is the least known park,” Groves Lloyd said.
Welch said that has been discussed, but the focus is to get the prairie going first. It was also noted that Highway 113 is scheduled for construction work during 2023.
The Committee approved a budget amendment for $2,500 to take care of the immediate work, as well as accept the $1,200 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the seeds.