The city of New Richmond will sponsor an open house on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center (156 E. First St.) to discuss reconstruction of the existing boat ramp and other improvements and additions to the park including an all-inclusive universal playground.

A DNR grant worth $37,602 awarded to the city in 2018 will be applied toward the reconstruction of the boat ramp scheduled to begin this summer.

The city has also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Will's Park Playground Committee which has been exploring the possibility of building an all-inclusive playground.

"All inclusive means that it's accessible to all, a child or an adult in a wheelchair, any person that happens to be in a wheelchair, or anybody who has motor issues as far as getting around the park. The park will provide different sensory type play equipment versus typical slides and swings. It will have equipment that is safe for them, lower heights, handrails, rubber flooring surface, that kind of stuff," explained committee member Teresa DeYoung.

After initially considering Freedom Park, the committee reconsidered in consultation with the city, and decided to look more closely at the existing playground in Mary Park as a possible location.

The city has been working with MSA Professional Services on the design and engineering for the new boat ramp as well as a master plan for the entire park to "ensure that the proposed projects fit and function well together and that there's a comprehensive, long-term vision for the park as a whole."

The draft design for the boat ramp and draft master plan for the park will be on display at the open house. City staff and representatives from MSA will provide a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m. and will remain available afterward to answer questions and gather comments.