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Memorial Park upgrades in the works

Memorial Park’s gloss lets history shine through

 

Officials aren’t sure when the work at Memorial Park will be done, but they want it ready by the park’s centennial this coming Veterans Day.

The Grass Valley Council on Tuesday opted for a plan that will make the clock tower the focal point of the park. Two new benches will adjoin existing benches on the front of the clock tower, with kiosk signage on both sides of the courtyard, according to a staff report. Landscaping will be at the entryway and as a backdrop to the hardscape improvements.

A Community Development Block Grant of $3.5 million was obtained for this and other improvements to Memorial Park. City Manager Tim Kiser estimated the cost of work in the clock tower area to be between $40,000 and $50,000. It’s unknown when the work can be completed, but the goal is to be finished before the park’s centennial on Nov. 11.



This plan is the Grass Valley Historical Commission’s preferred alternative, and was approved unanimously by the council.

The park has been re-configured a number of times during the last century, said Linda Jack, chair of the historical commission. However, the Memorial Grove and Veterans Area remain intact, she said.




“The changes to the park are happening in the recreation area, which is on the other side of the creek from the Memorial Grove,” said Jack. “I think we understand parks are places meant to be used by the public, and they made known what their preference was as to what changes would go into the park. A park is a living organism and can’t be preserved like a museum.”

Jack added she is pleased the council approved the commission’s recommendation.

Public access to the clock tower area will still be possible, except when crews will be pouring concrete that may require two or three days and will be cordoned off from pedestrian traffic. While Jack was hopeful work could be completed in time for the centennial anniversary, she believed that would depend on the weather just preceding it.

“We’re very pleased the City Council wanted to preserve the history of the park and tell its story for future generations,” said Jack.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com


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