Idaho Falls homeowners association partners with city to build neighborhood park
The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.
IDAHO FALLS — It started with a vision six years ago, and this summer it became a reality. Thanks to a partnership with the St. Clair Homeowners Association, City of Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Department and neighborhood volunteers, children in the St. Clair subdivision are playing basketball, sliding down the spiral slide and playing tag with their friends in the open space that once was only a city storm retention pond.
Six years ago, the association had a vision of creating a neighborhood park. They then shared the idea with homeowners, a vote was cast, and plans for raising the necessary funds commenced.
For six years the association set aside a portion of the HOA dues in anticipation of donating money to build a new neighborhood park. With the additional money raised from a neighborhood garage sale, donations from such organizations as Vantage Homes, a partnership with the Parks & Recreation Department and patient persistence, that vision became a reality.
After realizing the expertise needed and the labor cost associated with installing the new equipment on city property, the association reached out to partner with staff in the city’s Parks & Recreation Department for guidance and planning assistance. “We are extremely grateful for their help and consider city staff a blessing,” states the association’s Architect Committee Chair Prish Mordan. “They remained by our sides guiding us through the entire research, planning and building process. We couldn’t have done this project without them or all the volunteers from the neighborhood,” explains Mordan. An estimated 300 volunteer hours were dedicated to the installation and cleanup efforts of the new park and equipment.
Approximately $41,000 was raised by the association to purchase the new playground equipment, fencing around the retention pond, basketball hoops and asphalt pad for the new basketball court. The association has plans to add to the park in the future.
“The City Park and Cemetery Division has been a great resource to our community,” stated St. Clair Estates Homeowners Association President Scott Ferguson in a letter to Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper. “Supervisor, Brent Martin made himself available to our community for the planning, and his team has been invaluable in their assistance to set up our playground equipment and mark the layout of our park,” he said.
Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper said, “It is always great when neighbors come together, but when they cooperate and work hard to build something like this that will allow children to play outdoors and enable families to have space for gatherings, that is especially powerful. Think of the example of effort and accomplishment that the children of this neighborhood have learned. It is tremendous. I thank the residents of the St. Clair HOA for their generous contribution to the City of Idaho Falls. Partnerships such as this are key to strengthening our community – neighborhood by neighborhood, child by child,” adds Casper.
“We appreciate the St. Clair Homeowners Association. This is a type of partnership we would like to encourage throughout the community to continue improving neighborhoods in our city,” stated Parks & Recreation Director, Greg A. Weitzel during a recent Parks & Recreation Commission meeting.
Other city neighborhoods with open space that are requesting to develop neighborhood amenities such as this should contact the city’s Parks & Recreation Department. All contributions of equipment, fencing, and other materials used to develop a lot become city property, and the public is entitled to use the space. As neighborhood open spaces and retention basins are not widely accessible, it is mostly the immediate residents who benefit from the creation of this kind of small neighborhood park.