Friends of Way Park Annual Meeting Discusses Future Plans

With founder and president Judy Swanson presiding, Friends of Way Park held their Annual Meeting at the park on Saturday. Beginning with the city’s decision to raze the hospital, replacing it west of town, FWP has played a major role in advocating the preservation and of the south portion of the park. Assisted by research done by park neighbor David Sudermann, documenting the contribution of the park by the Way Family to the city, the group persuaded the council to respect that gift. They worked with landscape architect Spencer Jones, to assist the city in developing a concept plan for the redesign of both the north and south portions of the park.

Chris Ennis reported the proposed revisions of the bylaws. In order to foster ownership by citizens and to establish an economic base, there will be $10.00 individual memberships. All Northfielders are eligible and encouraged to join. Swanson was reelected president; Sarah Carlsen, vice president; Jim Holden, secretary; and Christopher Ennis, treasurer. At large members are Judy Covey; Cahrene Dimick; Bob Hickox; Chris Kauffeld; Anne Larson and Cora Scholz.

Fundraising Committee Chair Dan Dimick outlined the plan for raising money to help pay for the park redesign for which the estimated is cost $714,000. The south end of the park will be developed in the first phase. Because of the city’s uncertain financial situation, no firm construction timeline has been established.Having already received pledges in the amount of $18,000, FWP plans to launch their community-wide public fundraising soon.

As part of the infrastructure replacement on West First Street, the two portions will be united, creating one large park. The group discussed the possibility of using the Elg Memorial Fund to plant trees, once the work on the street is completed. A kiosk, illustrating the anticipated park design and depicting the history of the park, is also contemplated. The Sudermann research will be invaluable for this, noted Swanson.

Swanson reminded people of the Midsommar festival planned for the evening of June 21 at the park. This has become an annual event, which draws Northfielders from other neighborhoods as well. For more information about this event go to: