In the future, Kauffman Park could look much different than it does today.
Think carnivals, a reading garden, splash-pad, live music and winter activities.
With development deals “off the table,” Lakewood residents were given the opportunity to shape a new future for the park.
The discussion got started with about 20 residents at a community forum at Lakewood Public Library on Monday.
They shared ideas — the good, the bad and the ugly — about the future of Kauffman Park.
They also made a couple “wish-lists.”
Some of the ideas included restoring the miniature-golf course Little Links, while others were more realistic such as replacing the bleachers at Jimmie Foxx Field and improving the basketball and tennis courts.
At seven acres, Kauffman Park is the third largest “greenspace” in the city and the most centrally located, just north of Detroit and Arthur avenues.
The crowd split up into two groups and proposed several ideas about future uses of the park.
Most agreed that the park is underused.
Lakewood resident Chris Bindel said he hasn’t gone to the park as much as he used to. He suggested using the park to host activities as a way to attract visitors to the park.
“If we’re going to complain about having this space and not using, then let’s use it,” he said.
Other ideas were shared. Sean McDermott, the chairman of LakewoodAlive’s Design Committee, encouraged residents to think, “as if money were no object.”
Some wanted improved signs at the park’s entrances; an all-purpose trail; a reading garden; and more picnic tables and chairs.
The city’s planning and parks departments teamed up with LakewoodAlive and the Friends of Kauffman Park to develop a Master Plan for Kauffman Park.
“Location, location, location,” said resident Peter Grossetti. “It’s smack-dab in the middle of the city.”
“There’s so much development in downtown on Detroit Avenue, this area, this park is begging to be used.”
Organizers are asking Lakewood residents to also take a survey on the LakewoodAlive website, as the data is compiled.
Another meeting is expected in September.