The July 2 Champlin Parks and Recreation Commission meeting included approval of park dedication, trail placement and plan for open space at Avery Estates.

At a work session in January, the commission discussed trail positioning and dedication to the West Mississippi River Regional Trail within the development formerly known as Oaks Third Addition, which is now Avery Estates. Avery Estates is a five-lot subdivision of the two-acre property at 11261 West River Road in the northeast corner of Champlin. At that time, potential open space or prairie area was discussed.

During last week’s meeting, Parks Facilities Manager Charlie Lehn said city staff recommends accepting the park dedication for the five lots being developed and to forgo a land dedication for another park in accordance with the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Additionally, staff recommended that the proposed trail not be built until a future trail along West River Road be constructed. This trail would connect a proposed cul-de-sac and trail that travels through Oxbow Park as well as the West River Road trail. Instead of constructing the trail right away, escrow amounts will be acquired for future trail construction costs. Current bids to build a 10-foot trail start at $45 per lineal feet, and the proposed trail is projected to be 160 lineal feet.

Lastly, Champlin Garden Club and Izaak Walton League members suggested scratching plans to plant more prairie or cover crop in the area. Members of each group attended last week’s meeting and offered suggestions to preserve the native plants and flowers in the area. Susan Schmidt of the Champlin Garden Club and Izaak Walton League said the city can help foster the growth of native plants by cutting and possibly spraying the brome grass in the area. Schmidt said mowing certain portions of the prairie space could discourage annuals and help keep perennials growing and said members of the area garden club could stake out high-mow areas.

Lehn said city maintenance staff could commit to mowing the area once a year and would try to abide by high-mow markings from the Champlin Garden Club. Once staff and environmental club recommendations concluded, the Champlin Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously voted to approve park dedication at Avery Estates, approve future trail positioning and accept payment for the trail now, and to forgo planting prairie in open space adjacent to development.

PARKS UPDATES

During last week’s meeting, Lehn gave an update regarding the Jerry Ruppelius Park, 10951 Elm Creek Parkway, batting cages, Andrews Park,7200 117th Avenue North, trails and an upcoming event at Champlin City Hall.

The batting cages at Jerry Ruppelius Park were destroyed by a storm in July 2018. Now they have been fully-restored and are ready for use. “I want to say thank you to the Twins Community Fund for their donation of $6,800 and also to the Champlin Park Baseball Association for a donation of $3,400. With that we were able to complete and construct a set of batting cages that are going to be there for quite a while,” Lehn said.

Lehn also gave a public reminder that the trail system in the northern portion of Andrews Park will be under construction. Approximately 30 trees that are dead will be removed in order to make room for new growth and to try to get rid of the disease process in the park, he added.

A new event will be taking over Champlin City Hall, 11955 Champlin Drive, later this month. The Champlin Parks and Recreation Department have planned a Big Trucks event. From 4:30 to 8 p.m. on July 25, area families and children are invited to see, touch, honk and explore large public works, police, fire, utilities, Army, tow and medical vehicles and trucks.

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