Kilbourn Park Update: Regrading to Begin

by Vince Bushell On Wednesday evening, September 18, a dozen people met at COA on North Avenue to discuss the plans for the makeover and maintenance of Kilbourn Park from North Avenue down to Commerce Street. The reconfiguration of the slope with trail additions was presented earlier this year to the public. City representatives expect work to begin on the regrading in early October. An agreement with COA along with Riverwest Park Trust, a new group to be composed of area residents, to maintain this section of the Park is in the works and needs final touches before being signed. The agreement would take the form of a 25-year renewable lease. Landscaping issues were discussed, and the plan is to have turf grass planted in areas with minimal slope and to have this lawn cared for by COA maintenance personnel. Steeper slopes will be planted with native prairie species. It remains to be clarified who will have long term care responsibilities for the prairie sections of the park. A significant change in the trail system was presented to the group. This change only affects the section near Booth and Glover near the Holton Street bridge. Instead of switch-back trails with steps and retaining walls, the change would incorporate an open steel stair structure extending out from the top of the slope near Booth Street. The elevated path would end with an overlook of Commerce Street with stairs continuing down to the bike trail and Commerce Street. The design looked intriguing as well as functional.
by Vince Bushell