The Plan Is Economical and Meets Our Needs

This plan is a comprehensive investment in the city’s recreational facilities, major parks and most significant natural/outdoor resources. The goal is to improve community resources now, so residents today and tomorrow can enjoy them.

 
 

This plan:

will improve the quality of city parks.

Contributors to the city’s Parks Master Plan process identified a desire for destination and signature parks for residents of all ages to relax and play. This plan includes improvements to Orono Park and Lion John Wiecht Park.

Orono Park will be revitalized with an expanded beach, splash pad, skateboard park, lighted pickleball and basketball courts and modern restrooms. Trail and parking improvements will connect Orono to the YMCA, Dave Anderson Athletic Complex and the dog park. Lion John Weicht Park will become an active athletic complex with two lighted ball fields, a 100-person picnic pavilion, modern restrooms, concessions and improved trails and parking.

will meet the needs of our growing community.

Youth sports and sports participation are both growing and changing. The rapid increase in female participation, the increasing popularity of soccer and lacrosse and demand for year-round athletic training has stressed athletic complexes. Further, the Elk River Ice Arena utilizes obsolete refrigeration systems, is in need of dressing room, lobby, meeting and storage space and is increasingly expensive to repair and maintain.

The plan expands and improves recreational opportunities for the Elk River Ice Arena by creating a multipurpose recreation facility to serve year-round ice, field turf activities, and dry floor events. This includes meeting and event space, a 30,000-square-foot field house, catering café space for community events, and dedicated senior facilities. The two full-sized ice rinks include climate control for dry floor event and activity use. Upgrades at the city’s Youth Athletic Complex are planned featuring field lighting, a playground, concessions, and modern restrooms.

will improve community connectivity with trail extensions for pedestrians and bikers.

City surveys and community feedback overwhelmingly seek additional hiking and biking trails and better connectivity to schools, neighborhoods and parks.

This plan includes dedicated funding to improve existing trails which are in need of reconstruction. Funds are also allocated to construction trail connections where city/public right-of-way currently exists and to complete trail loops as future right-of-way is acquired during the development process.

will offer enhanced opportunities for seniors.

One of our fastest growing demographics is our active senior citizen community. Currently served by the former Elk River Library, a building also in need of costly major investments to continue current operations and is very expensive to operate and maintain.

The plan includes dedicated new space for senior activities and programming in the Multipurpose Recreational Facility. This will allow more services and greater access for residents 55 and older with decreased operational and maintenance costs. The functionality of the multipurpose facility allows for room to grow with a number of community meeting spaces available.

will improve lake orono water quality and recreational opportunities.

Elk River is proud to be “Powered by Nature” and Lake Orono is frequently cited as one of our most precious natural resources. Sedimentation over the past 20+ years from shoreline erosion has minimized the recreational enjoyment of the lake.

New environmental laws have sought to decrease new sedimentation. The State of Minnesota has awarded Elk River a grant to finance nearly half the costs of dredging Lake Orono. Lakeshore property owners have committed to participating in the costs to dredge and funds are allocated finance the remaining costs to improve water quality and recreational opportunities, expand wildlife habitat, and reduce invasive species.