DRCA votes to be held on Simpson Park plan

By DRCA President Bill Hendrickson

At our March 10th membership meeting, I will ask the membership to formally support the city’s draft plan for improvements to Simpson Park. A presentation of the plan was given at the February membership meeting, and the Del Ray Citizen has included information about the plan.

I will be especially asking the membership to support those aspects of the plan that would enhance the neighborhood-oriented aspects of the park. These include:

  1. Renovation and expansion of the playground
  2. Renovation of passive open space areas to allow more informal activities, such as picnicking and Frisbee-throwing
  3. Informal use of the soccer fields during certain times
  4. Improvements to the entrances to and pathways through the park
  5. Overall aesthetic improvements
  6. Continued improvements at the dog park
I will also be asking the membership to support a basic approach to how the DRCA could become involved in implementation of certain parts of the plan. I have discussed this approach with staff at the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. It was previously reported in this newsletter.First, the DRCA would work with staff to develop a design for the proposed “green alley” of trees and other plantings in the northeast area of the park. DRCA would then contribute a certain amount of money from its tree fund to implement part of the design. I would seek to get a city contribution to this effort as well.Second, the staff has discussed doing a design of the passive open space area adjacent to and to the east of the playground in conjunction with the redesign of the playground, which is scheduled to take place in the city’s 2016 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2015. Once the design is completed, the DRCA and the city would discuss possible DRCA contributions for implementing the design of the open space area. This would probably include fundraising in the community.