SHERIDAN — Sheridan City Council held a work session Monday to discuss Sheridan’s parks and pathways. The discussion included project highlights from the year and goals for future expansion of one of Sheridan’s signature perks.
Of Sheridan’s 8.5 square miles of land area, approximately 11 percent, or nearly 600 acres, is dedicated to parks and open spaces to be used for recreation and relaxation. Sheridan also boasts approximately 14 miles of pathways, a system that stretches north to south through town and connects nearly every school.
Parks Superintendent Chuck Carbert highlighted numerous projects that were completed over the last year and delineated future goals for the parks and pathways system.
Sheridan Recreation District Business Manager Rich Bridger also discussed the status of Kendrick Pool.
“The highlight is the work that we’re doing to the pathway system, extending it north and south out of town,” Carbert said. “Pathways are linear parks. If you get out and walk and travel our pathway system, you’ll see how heavily used they are. I believe pretty much all of our parks are actually connected by this pathway system, so it’s very important.”
In the last year, city crews paved the 1.25 miles of pathways in North Park, which consisted of a gravel base for a couple years.
On the opposite end of town, crews created the Teal Ponds pathway across from South Park that extends from Brundage Lane along Wetlands Drive to Coffeen Avenue across from Sheridan College. The pathway has a gravel base and will be paved at a later date. Public Works Director Nic Bateson said the city is working with the Wyoming Department of Transportation on design concepts for pathway crossings on Brundage Lane and Coffeen Avenue.
The North and South Park pathways were paid for with public benefit and Optional One-Cent Sales Tax funds.
The city is working on the Adams Ranch pathway to reach Woodland Park School, which is the only school not connected to the pathway system, Carbert said. Other pathways in progress include South Dome Drive to West Loucks Street, Marion Street between Eighth and 11th streets and Colony South down to the pathway between Sheltered Acres Park and South Park, which will likely be a step system due to the slope of the hill.
In Kendrick Park, the lion dogs at the entrance were sent to a conservator in Denver for repair, additional sod and fencing was added and the bathrooms were updated with improved flushing mechanisms and soap dispensers. An arboretum with 56 trees was planted below Kendrick Mansion.
The road and parking lot at Mavrakis Pond was paved with a porous black top that will allow water to seep through and be purified by a layer of rocks beneath the paving before it runs into the pond.
Carbert also highlighted Huntington Bowl Dog Park, which will be more than two acres once it’s complete. He said there have been a few problems with off-leash dogs getting into surrounding neighborhoods, so the parks department plans to fence the area.
“We have the one dog park in the community, and we want to try to create at least one more or maybe an off-leash area up in the north. We have the center part of the community covered, and we’d like to cover the south part of the community, as well as do something up north,” Carbert said.
In the future, the city hopes to install an educational boardwalk over the wetlands in South Park and make Mill Park an area to interpret local and regional history at the confluence of the Goose creeks where so much of that history occurred, Carbert said.
Funding efforts and a public input process are underway for the Kendrick Park Pool, Carbert said. Estimates to fix the pool came in at $1.5 to $2 million, while the cost to build a new pool will be approximately $5 to $7 million.
“Regardless of funding or non-funding, that pool has a limited lifespan,” Bridger said.
Kendrick Pool has been open since 1947, and Bridger said it is estimated to have three to five years left.
“We have to figure out how to take care of what we’ve got, or in the future people will look back and say, ‘Remember Kendrick Park Pool? I wonder why they didn’t do more to save it?,’” Mayor Dave Kinskey said.