Carson City officials explain Ross Gold Park changes at open house
Attendees at a public meeting about Ross Gold Park said they walked away with a better understanding of the rationale behind proposed changes there.
Parks, Recreation and Open Space held the meeting Thursday to get feedback on the park’s master plan after receiving 136 responses to a survey conducted in April.
The master plan includes a major redesign of the popular recreation area off Snyder Avenue in south Carson City.
Already, a new playground with universally-accessible equipment has been installed and will be unveiled in the next few weeks. The bathrooms, too, will be made handicap accessible in the next phase. And a large pavilion has been removed.
“The shelter is a very important part of the park. It provides shelter, people hold parties there,” said Vern Krahn, senior park planner.
Under the proposed design, the pavilion will be replaced with two picnic shelters, one medium-sized, the other small.
The biggest change for some, though, is a proposal to remove the large irrigation pond there and replace it with a water feature that includes two, much smaller ponds.
“The pond is why people come here,” said Dean Wright, a neighbor to the park, when he first arrived at the meeting, held next to the park at Fire Station 53. “Children come to feed the critters.”
The pond, though, is likely leaking. Public Works found in 2018 it used four times the water it had in recent years, said Krahn. In early spring, the pond was filled up, not used for irrigation, and was almost empty within a few weeks, he said.
Potable water is used to fill the pond and irrigate the turf there because the city’s effluent is already taken.
“We’re asking is this the most responsible way to use potable water,” said Krahn.
One attendee who initially was opposed to removing the pond said he changed his mind.
“I agree with the position on the big pond,” said Steve Waclo, a Carson City resident.
Another attendee felt similarly.
“We need to be conscious of water usage and if it’s having trouble we need to look at it,” said Maurice White, another resident.
The other proposed changes at the park include reducing turf and adding natural landscaping, adding more parking, relocating the horseshoe pit, making the tennis courts usable for pickleball, too, and connecting a series of sidewalks around it for a continuous concrete walking path.
The city is accepting comments on the master plan until July 9 and then will take a draft to the Parks and Recreation Commission in August, where the public can also comment.
A copy of the plan should be online soon at the Parks and Rec page of the city website, carson.org. To comment, email Krahn at firstname.lastname@example.org.