May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26

PHOTO COURTESY OF EVANSTON PARKS AND RECREATION DISTRICT

CONSERVATION

Evanston Parks and Recreation District staff
envision Bear Meadows as a space for active
recreation that is configurable to a variety of
needs based on the demands of the community.

Revitalizing Parkland in Evanston, Wyoming
By Lindsay Hogeboom

F

or nearly 10 years, a six-acre grassy field, known as Bear Meadows,
has existed in the heart of downtown Evanston, Wyoming. The field
- which sits just to the west of the Bear Ice Ponds, next to the Bear
River and shares walking trails with a nearby Bear River State Park -
is beloved by the community for its large natural area and convenient location.
However, a handful of environmental challenges currently hinder the ability to
use the land to its full potential. Park and recreation professionals at Evanston
Parks and Recreation District (EPRD) are working to transform the underutilized space into a year-round outdoor recreational area for their community.

out cross-country ski tracks at Bear
Meadows, " but it is difficult with the
swinging weather to make a quality
track for cross-country skiing, " says
Kim Larson, recreation manager for
EPRD. " We have all these skis at the
rec center to rent out for people to go
play outside, but they're just sitting
there because there's no snow. "

Site Challenges

Land Management
Strategies

In December 2020, EPRD staff met
with representatives from NRPA and
Sasaki, a leading global design firm,
to discuss the environmental challenges of the site and potential land
management solutions. During the
summer season, the biggest site challenge is the ability to effectively irrigate the land due to soil conditions,
reduced annual precipitation and
extended drought. " The drainage is
probably our biggest issue, " says Kev26	 Parks & Recreation

| M AY 2 02 1 | PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G

in Munoz, parks maintenance worker for EPRD. " The main thing is that
[the field] sits out in the open all day
long, constantly in the sun, so it dries
out if you don't get enough water on
it. But at other times, you can drown
it and it won't drain either. "
During winter, another environmental challenge has arisen over
recent years due to increasingly extreme and consistent weather fluctuations: diminished snowpack.
EPRD staff hope to be able to lay

Despite these environmental challenges, EPRD staff committed to
revitalizing the site expressed big
ideas for what the area could be, including a space for active recreation
that is configurable to a variety of
needs based on the demands of the
community. " We are trying to keep
it improving and actually growing, "
says Munoz. " I would hope to see
it...able to be used year-round. " To



May 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2021 - Parks & Recreation

May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
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May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com