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Board briefed on option for park next to Heart River

Jaycees Park might soon have some company in the green space department on Dickinson's south side.

Members of the Dickinson Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners were briefed Monday on an option that could eventually place a new park across the Heart River from Jaycees Park during the board's regular monthly meeting at the West River Community Center.

The potential park -- which was discussed by the board as a capital planning project -- would rest on a skinny strip of land, approximately a two-acre parcel, sandwiched between the river and a planned housing development.

"It's a neat piece of land," Parks and Rec Director James Kramer said. "It's kind of a low-lying area next to the river, not a large area, but you could easily make that into a nice little park complete with an access road and parking lot. "

Kramer told the board it could be a good opportunity to place a park in an area of town where there isn't a lot of green space.

"We have Jaycees Park right across the river," Kramer said. "But if this (area) gets developed like they're saying, we really have nothing southeast of the Heart River."

The proposed housing development which would be next to the park would be known as the "Riverfront at the Highlands" portion of a greater south Dickinson housing development called "The Highlands."

"Right now, we're just in the planning stages of the riverfront portion," said Highlands Development Manager Mitch Rubin when reached by phone Monday. "In our opinion, though, it would be a phenomenal setup with a park by the river and possibly a walking bridge over to Jaycees Park. We think that would a perfect placement."

Kramer said a walking bridge -- although expensive -- would be potentially feasible. A model for such a bridge could be the walking bridge going over the Heart River at Eagles Park, he added. Kramer added that such bridges are popular in Fargo and Grand Forks.

"I think it would be neat," said commissioner Carol Herauf. "We don't have a lot of areas like that in town and it would be nice to take advantage of that land."

Also at the meeting, Park Operations Manager Scott Mack said cross country ski trails are open at the Patterson Lake Recreation Area and the board accepted a proposal from Cash King ATMs to place ATM machines at the WWCC, Dickinson Recreation Center and the Heart River Golf Course. The machines will charge a $3 transaction fee.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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