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POLISH UP TAYLOR PARK
A community initiative to improve our local park
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As part of Traer’s upcoming 150th year, the Sesquicentennial Committee, the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee, and the City of Traer are focusing on a long-term landscaping and beautification initiative in Taylor Park - we’re calling it ‘POLISH UP TAYLOR PARK’. Our project goals are to see Taylor Park blossom as a vibrant centerpiece of Traer once again. Our plan, in phases, is for a long-term overall landscape design including trees, shrubs, flowers, plants, and other hardscape features, as well as maintenance and repairs to the gazebo/bandstand, restrooms, driveways, play equipment, picnic tables, park benches, and the entrance archway monument.

 

Taylor Park is a central feature of Traer. Since the derecho and other wind events, many areas including the trees, shrubbery, flowers, plants, and hardscape features have fallen into disrepair. Take a walk through the park and you’ll get the picture. With our new shelter house and swimming pool attractions, it’s a great time to bring these other park areas up to par. Taylor Park can and should be a showcase of our town.

 

Here are our park objectives:

  • Consult with Iowa State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and its Community Design Lab group to assess and make recommendations for the park grounds, areas in need of renovation, and other potential improvement ideas

  • Develop a long-term plan for several phases of landscaping and beautification including tree/shrub/plant selections, hard-scaping, cost estimates, maintenance considerations, etc

  • Stir enthusiasm in the community for folks that are interested in helping out with planning, planting, and maintenance responsibilities in the future

  • Work with the City of Traer to finance certain projects

  • Seek grant funding and local fundraising to support Polish Up Taylor Park into the future

  • Initial planting of some flowers/bulbs/shrubs to be in bloom for the 2023 Sesquicentennial celebration

  • Plan a ‘Plant The Park Day’ for the initial planting of Phase 1 plants/flowers, a chance to inform the community of the long-term landscape plans for the park, and to glean volunteers who will help maintain the landscaped areas

  • Partner with our local Master Gardeners and residents with green thumbs

  • Include school children to educate and involve them in giving back to the community

 

All residents and visitors, young and old, benefit from a green space they are proud to stroll in, play in, picnic in, and hold events in. Green spaces increase the quality of life for a community and the value and pride we have in our land.

 

We are making progress! Here is an update:

As part of the Polish Up Taylor Park initiative, Iowa State University’s Community Design Lab (ISU CDL) has been hired to perform a comprehensive site evaluation and recommendations for landscape, hardscape, tree canopy, and overall improvements to Taylor Park. 

 

Chad Hunter, Assistant Director of ISU CDL, and Parker Wang, a student intern with the Iowa State’s Department of Landscape Architecture were in Traer on Tuesday, September 27th for their initial site visit. Members of the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee were on hand to show them around.

 

The group explored the park with these areas of improvement in mind:

  • Floral plantings, bushes, shrubs, and overall landscaping

  • Landscaping around gazebo

  • Tree canopy evaluation

  • Trash solutions

  • Designated picnic areas 

  • Sidewalk along Highway 63

  • Sidewalk paths throughout the park

  • Children and teens play/interactive areas

  • Park benches

 

The ISU CDL will collaborate with the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee, to develop the project. Additionally, the CDL will participate in public input sessions to allow residents to share their goals and desires for the park. The key deliverables that the CDL will provide the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee are an inventory and analysis of the park, a general master plan for the organization of the park, a detailed planting plan and plant schedule, conceptual hard-scape plan, renderings of key design concepts, phasing plan, posters for the public presentation of the work, and a final written report. The CDL will meet regularly with the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee to keep them updated on the design's progress and ensure that the work continues to fit their vision. Mr. Hunter will manage the design process with design support from landscape architecture student interns at Iowa State University.

 

Next steps for the ISU CDL group are:

OCTOBER 2022 - Presentation of Analysis and Initial Planning Concepts including:

Develop inventory and analysis report

Presentation of analysis and initial concepts to Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee

Discussion of ideas for the public input session 

 

NOVEMBER 2022 - Community Input Meeting - Meet the ISU CDL folks, hear their initial inventory and analysis report, and give your input on desired amenities, site configurations, goals, concerns, and opportunities for improving the park.

JANUARY 2023 - Conceptual Design

Develop conceptual site plans (planting, hard-scape, programming), plant palette, and signage ideas

Presentation of initial concepts to Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee for feedback

 

SPRING 2023 - Revised concepts and development of final plan/deliverables

Revise designs based on comments received in the committee review

Presentation of final deliverables: site plan, planting plan, plant palette, hard-scape layout and material suggestion, renderings of key spaces in the park

Identify small catalyst projects and long-term vision

Presentation of the final report and supporting posters

Discuss next steps, phasing, and potential partners and funding sources

Provide a set of design boards and a printed copy of the final report to the committee

 

The Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee is also working closely with the City of Traer and the City Council on large-scale projects for the park outside the scope of work from the ISU CDL. The City of Traer will fund these projects - they include: 

  • Gazebo/Bandstand - maintenance and renovations

  • Play Equipment - new equipment coming Summer 2023

  • Restroom Facilities - renovation or reconstruction to be determined

  • Driveway Updates - reconstruction to be determined

  • Picnic Tables - new tables and picnic areas based on ISU CDL planning

 

The Sesquicentennial Committee and the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee are excited to be taking these steps now to ensure the future and longevity of our park. We see this as the beginning of a legacy community project to keep Taylor Park in peak condition as an investment for future generations.

 

Funding for the ISU CDL portion of this project has been awarded through grants sourced by the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee. 

If you have questions please contact Tracey Hulme, president of the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee, at traer150years@gmail.com

Here’s how you can help POLISH UP TAYLOR PARK - DONATE TODAY!

The Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee has set up a fund within the Traer Community Foundation for contributions to the POLISH UP TAYLOR PARK initiative. These funds will be used for the ongoing improvements and future maintenance of Taylor Park projects designated by the ISU CDL phased plans. 

Mail your check payable to:

TRAER COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

PO Box 435

Traer, IA 50675​

Please note in the memo line: POLISH UP TAYLOR PARK

 

Also include:

Name(s): ________________________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________  City ___________  State______  Zip ____________

Email: __________________________________________________________________________

Your gift is tax-deductible because the Traer Community Foundation is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit corporation.

 
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