By Mitchell Kirk
Logansport’s newest park is nearly ready for its first summer.
Huston Park, located in the 1700 block of Smith Street, has been in the works since 2007 and was made possible through more than $1 million from local tax dollars, grants and donors.
The 80-acre parcel offers 1 1/2 miles of walking trails, a playground, parking lot, restrooms and a multi-purpose meadow that will provide space for football and soccer teams to practice and for festivals and casual recreation.
One concern Logansport Parks Administrator Jan Fawley said she had was whether the grass would grow, something she said she feels much more at ease about lately.
“It’s looking a little greener now,” she said. “I think it will be another month or so before it’s fully covered, but you can see the grass coming in. How thick it is and if areas are missing, I’m not sure yet. We’ll see.”
Fawley isn’t the only one looking forward to thriving fields of grass. David Cook, co-president of Logansport Youth Soccer, is eager to have teams practice there pending approval from the Indiana Soccer Association.
“The park will be a good place,” he said. “Hopefully it will help us grow.”
Cook said the organization usually averages around 200 players making up about 20 teams per season for both its fall and spring seasons. Players currently practice on the six fields near the Logansport State Hospital and sometimes have to juggle the space among 12 teams at once. Cook is hoping Huston Park will provide another outlet for the players.
“We’re running short of practice space,” he said. “This would help us out tremendously.”
Fawley said she wasn’t sure how many fields the space would allow for, but estimated two to three football fields and two to three for soccer.
Improvements have also been made to the park’s office building and community center with the recent installation of seven solar panels on the building’s roof.
“Hopefully we’ll start producing our own electricity pretty soon,” Fawley said, adding she’d like to implement the panels in other parks in the city to reduce electricity costs and promote renewable energy.
“I’ve tried to apply for a couple different grants for these,” she said. “I’m hoping this will give me some more accurate information to make those grants more realistic and helpful to make these things happen in other places where there’s nice open sunshine and maybe we can gain some utility hours.”
Interior demolition was recently done on the building, clearing walls and opening out the interior for the community center it will become. The plan going forward, Fawley said, is to have the Century Career Center building trades class remodel the interior after demolition is complete. As the class is currently busy with other projects, Fawley said she didn’t yet know when work would begin.
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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