11/18/11 Representatives from the Troyer Group, the company hired to help design the new downtown park met with the residents on Wednesday evening, November 16th at the Webster Center. Troyer was there to discuss the Master Plan for the new River Park Square, which will be located between Garro Street, Water Street and the Yellow River in downtown Plymouth.
Mayor Mark Senter opened the meeting by introducing Michael Reese, Landscape Architect of the Troyer Group. Also attending was Senior President John Leszczynski, Civil Engineer Kent Schumacher, and Graduate Landscape Architect Nate Bosch. Mr. Reese explained to the large group gathered the process they have taken which included getting many ideas and comments from the community. They originally had five concepts and narrowed it down to the top two.
While explaining Concept #1 Reese discussed the focus on the Farmers Market which will be moved to a new location on Water Street. This will give more access to the Farmers Market with restrooms located just south of the area, and placing a large grassy area where the Farmers Market is now located. The large grassy area will be a nice area to sit and enjoy park, a flexible performance space could be used for various types of small performances and events and a formal fountain is shown along the pedestrian promenade between the foot bridge and Water Street. The community garden will remain in about the same area as it is now with a native planting area and a more formal garden area further to the east.
Concept #2 also moved the Farmers Market to Water Street, with the community gardens right behind the market. This concept will close off Water Street, but allows for a beautiful entrance to the park at the intersection of Garro Street and Water Street. This entrance would be a part of the Christmas Tree Plaza, a location for residents to enjoy the Community Christmas tree that will also be seen from Michigan Street. An interactive fountain would be located around the center of the park. The multi-use paths are a great addition to the park allowing for a nice walk through the park, while enjoying the peace and serenity of the Yellow River flowing by.
The Troyer Group discussed the issue of the park location and flooding. FEMA has allowed the construction of enclosed restrooms in a flood area, but requires open picnic shelters to allow the flood waters to move through the area.
At the FEMA funding for the city is coming through you will start to see changes in the area. There are plans to purchase homes, leveling off the ground, and construction of the river bank is just the beginning to this project. The Troyer group did project that River Park Square could be completed in as short of time period as two years, pending funding from FEMA although Mayor Senter believes the park project will be many years before completion.
The goal of River Park Square is to allow a beautiful setting for the community, while helping the economic development in the downtown area. River Park Square promises to introduce new things that the other parks in Plymouth don’t have.
Photo: Luke Felde a four year resident of Plymouth speaking with Nate Bosch from the Troyer group.
Photo: Nate explaining the differences in Concept #1 and #2
Nichole Kaylor Correspondent