The city of Red Wing has been working for over a year to update Memorial Park’s overlook. The design has been edited a couple of times due to public input so on Monday, April 14, Community Development Director Dan Rogness brought new sketches to the city council.
Rogness presented the council with the design that city staff recommended. The sketch included stone benches, a sculpture, various plants and two parking spots.
After the meeting, a variety of Red Wing residents called council members and staff to say that they did not like the proposed park’s layout and that it included only two parking spots. The current overlook has seven parking spaces.
During Monday’s council meeting the community’s response to the proposed design was discussed.
Rogness suggested that the current overlook’s area could be expanded to accommodate both the proposed space for people to walk and sit and for people to park their cars.
“It occurred to us that the line of trees that separates that parking from the bluff or the overlook, the view, could be improved substantially with thinning of trees," Rogness said. "There’s a lot of buckthorn there, the trees are not very good condition.”
Council President Dean Hove approved the possibility of creating parking spaces.
“This is just my thought. If we put another three on this side and three on that side I think it would probably lessen the effect of some of the folks that we’ve been getting phone calls from,” Hove said.
Council members voiced approval of working to update the plans for Memorial Park.
“I would be fine with clearing some of that and just kind of keeping all of the parking together," council member Erin Buss said.
Buss added that if the city cuts down any trees for this project she would like to see trees planted somewhere in the city in their stead.
Rogness and city staff will work to create a new plan for the Memorial Park overlook and bring a finalized draft to the council during its next meeting. The next draft will include a space to walk and sit outside and parking spaces to admire the view from cars.
“I’m certainly not someone who supports endless driving but it’s also an item that is sort of a bit of a touch stone in this community and I think it is important to try to be a little more flexible here,” council member Evan Brown said.