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What’s the Future Hold for Kauffman Park?

About 20 people meet at the library to help craft the park’s Master Plan.

In the future, 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 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.

Ian Andrews July 31, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Hi everyone. Here is the survey that is mentioned in the article above: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VN7WWZB. The Kauffman Park Friends and LakewoodAlive encourage you to take a few minutes and provide your thoughts about the park. The link will be posted on the LakewoodAlive site but various limitations will delay this until later tonight so I thought I'd post on here. Let us know what you think about Kauffman Park and how it can be improved. Thanks!
Ken Lipka July 31, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Kauffman Park needs to be a soccer complex for the youth of Lakewood. We are the only community on the west side that does not have a soccer complex for their children.
Dan Alaimo July 31, 2012 at 10:07 PM
It was a very good, very positive meeting. If we do everything suggested, we'd have a mini Disneyland at Kauffman. But the idea is to draw up a master plan so we can respond to funding opportunities for future projects. Thanks to all for getting us off to a good start. (And Colin, I know it's your job, but thanks for coming and for the good reporting.)
Colin McEwen August 01, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Dan, anytime. As with most Lakewood events, I sincerely enjoyed the discussion.

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