The installations and updates at Stoltzman Park are a terrific example of progress that can be made when neighbors get together to do good.
A little over two years ago, I and several members of our Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association formed a working committee on parks. In partnership with the city of Mankato, we solicited input on improving Stoltzman Park from the neighborhood, the community at large, and stakeholders — like the Blue Skunks Bike Polo Club — that had been utilizing the existing rink for several years.
Weighing feedback from residents and user groups, we created a plan that developed the unused areas of the park in an effort to provide amenities for groups and individuals of different age groups and demographics.
When it came time to select playground equipment, we carefully chose equipment that had accessible and inclusive components and design features like an inclusive swing, an accessible multi spinner, and poured-in-place concrete for wheelchair access. Any suggestion that playground equipment was not selected with children of different abilities in mind is flatly false.
We would have liked to include more playground features and amenities, but were constrained by both the small footprint of the park and the budget. Our group is proud of the multi-use plan we developed and the progress on the park so far.
On behalf of the group, I would thank city staff and the City Council for prioritizing funding for the park so that construction was able to start in 2018. We hope it is an asset that can be enjoyed by our neighborhood and all Mankato residents for many years into the future.