Carlson Park Coalition approved to raise, receive funds for improvements

Carlson Park Area

By Denise Lana,

Carlson Park Area

In anticipation of construction beginning in the near future at Carlson Park, the Decorah City Council approved a resolution Aug. 7 allowing the Carlson Park Trail Coalition to raise and receive funds for construction of improvements at the park.

According to Decorah Parks & Recreation Director Andy Nimrod, the city hired a development firm several years ago to develop a plan for the 110-acre park, which was donated to the city by the Rick and David Carlson Families.  

Additionally, a series of meetings were held to gather public input and narrow down what the folks wanted in this park.  

“Were they interested in walking trails? Maybe disc golf?” Nimrod explained. 

The development group then took those ideas, preferences and suggestions and created a loose layout of what the park could be, with plans to make a map of the park down the road, according to the director.  

Nimrod explained that the first step in the park’s development focuses on the northwest corner of the land, which is near Pleasant Avenue and Route 9. The goal at that location, he said, is to construct a way for pedestrians to travel safely from Minowa Heights across Pleasant Avenue and into the park.  

“We are in the design portion right now, but we ambitiously hope to get a plan solidified, some funds raised and allotted, and starting construction to commence in the spring when construction season in town kicks off,” said Nimrod.  

The purpose behind the resolution approved at council meeting was “a lot more formal than what it is in reality,” Nimrod expressed. “Essentially, instead of donations going to the City of Decorah, the resolution allows funds to be given directly to the Carlson Park Coalition, headed up by Benji Nichols, Brian Fuhrmann and Marla Klocke.”  

“Our initial goal is to raise $100,000 to use for a gateway entrance at that northwest part of the park,” explained Nimrod. “Most all of our parks in town have beautiful, eye-catching entrances, and we want the same for Carlson Park.”

There is no goal time established, Nimrod added, and there are currently no fundraising events or press releases in the works.  

“We just want to break ground and get the project started,” said Nimrod, “and then we will pace the work as funds are raised, so we can get as much accomplished by the end of next summer.”

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