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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jun 10, 2009

As the Estherville Parks and Recreation Board works to develop its comprehensive five-year park and recreation plan, there are obviously a few misconceptions about what areas the volunteer board oversees.

Eighty-three Estherville residents responded to a survey sent to 351 households.

A few comments on the survey overestimate the powers of the Estherville board. Several comments referred to Fort Defiance State Park, which is not under Estherville’s jurisdiction.

As with any improvements, available money is the key impediment to most projects.

Survey respondents frequently mentioned they’d like the city to have more trails.

A couple big donations over the past couple of years have helped Estherville Parks and Recreation Department make a few key improvements at Thoreson Park-specifically the new shelterhouse and playground area.

The planned development of the South 15th Street Park is ongoing with the addition of the tennis courts, soccer fields and a three-quarter mile walking trail already in place.

The parks and recreation board knows the Riverside Tennis Courts need repair. However since the courts are in a flood plain, consideration for the future is either to build new courts elsewhere or build up the ground at the current site.

Survey respondents agreed the Lincoln School site needs a large-scale playground. How it will be developed has yet to be determined, but board member Gary Phillips’ suggestion to make it handicap-accessible seems like a possibility. Some respondents were concerned about the proximity of Highway 4.

Several respondents said the parks and recreation department should be involved in running the former Riverside Ski area. With low snowfall amounts in previous years, the parks and recreation board was cautious on the feasibility of such a project and rightly so.

While we encouraged Estherville residents to make their voice heard once before in this space, there’s still time to voice an opinion on improvements. The parks and recreation board meets at noon this coming Monday, June 15, in the council room at city hall or call the office at 362-3575.