What do you want, need for new park?

Web-Editorial-Gary-MugIt’s time for a new poll, our city leaders are looking for some direction in what to do with the newly christened Princes Heritage Park.

There’s a big movement to make it a soccer field for the high school, and Rod Noel, stated at the last council meeting that if a soccer is what is wanted then one could be fit in the old bin storage lot, but it would leave less than half for all other uses. We say a big movement because proponents have jumped right in with both feet and started a rallying cry for a new soccer field. However, not everyone has spoken and we, like the city, would like to hear what the public has in mind for the property that was so generously leased to the city for $1 a year for the next five years, with an option to renew the lease in five years.

A couple things must be kept in mind – first, this isn’t a permanent lease and one day the Prince family may decide to do something else with it so anything put there will probably have to be of a less than permanent nature. Second, there isn’t a lot of extra money for parks, Oroville has several great parks, but only one really creates direct revenue, Veterans Memorial, where camping spaces and a couple of vacation cottages are rented. The rest, bring in money through indirect means. This means things like skate parks might be out of reach – a recreation center and pool as someone recently suggested, are way beyond the city’s budget (and pretty much rely on a lease in perpetuity).

So, what should it be – soccer field, play ground, walking trail, dog park, or some combination of all four? Baseball that close to the highway would certainly be out and we already have Bud Clark Ball Fields.

Personally, we wonder why the city should provide a soccer field for the school, but still carry a grudge from when the non-high school baseball, like Little League, Babe Ruth and Pony, were played at the high school and then no longer allowed. That’s why the city came up with a plan to build Bud Clark park for the kids baseball and adult softball leagues. (As an aside, it’s too bad not enough kids are turning out this year so the minors and majors have been cancelled). The high school already uses “City Park” off Main Street for soccer, although we understand the park isn’t the best place to play. Remember when there were swings, a slide and a merry go ’round there?

So as Noel suggested, maybe if a soccer field was built at Princes Heritage, with some help from the school district, then City Park could go back to being a kids, multi-purpose park and the rest of the new park could be used for other things. When soccer season was over, then the whole park could be used for events – art, music, play, maybe an expanded farmers market, who knows?

Anyway, we want to run another online poll, but would like some guidance as to what we should ask before we ask for the public’s vote. Why not send us your thoughts to editor@gazette-tribune or drop them by the office and we might include them as one of our poll questions.