The Greencastle Park Board won't know for a month or more whether it's barking up the wrong tree or not, but varied ideas for a possible Land and Water Conservation Fund grant application may fetch some interesting comments.
Among the notions discussed at the May Park Board meeting were a dog park, soccer field restrooms, a new, lighted softball diamond and adjacent parking lot -- all at Big Walnut Sports Park.
"We're still in the process of doing our homework on it," Park Director Rod Weinschenk told the board, adding that the application must be submitted to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Outdoor Recreation next month.
The possibility of the city's first dog park would require approximately $18,000 for fencing and gates, he estimated.
Other possible amenities for the dog park might include benches, a drinking fountain and doggie potty station.
"Dog parks are typically three to five acres," Weinschenk said, "although I am not thinking about that big here."
A new regulation ASA softball field would cost approximately $125,000 with an additional $60,000 for lighting, Weinschenk estimated.
"And if we put in a softball field, we're going to have to put another parking lot somewhere to accommodate it," he said.
Weinschenk estimated that the city's wish list, which also includes a set of modern restrooms to serve the soccer fields at Big Walnut, totals $325,000. Maximum grant funding under the latest state program is $200,000.
No formal action was taken on the matter at Wednesday night's meeting at City Hall.
The Park Board did, however, approve a list of part-time seasonal personnel for the pool and concession stand, as submitted by Weinschenk.
William Dory will serve as pool manager this summer with Annalise Small and Nicholas Stevens as assistant managers. Meagan Allen was hired as concession stand manager. All four have previously worked at the park.
The lifeguard staff is not yet complete, but those who have been approved are Luke Smith, Spencer Moore, Hannah Deere, Joseph Kass, Sara Culler and John McCammack. All except McCammack are returning guards.
Weinschenk said the pool is looking at hiring 20 or 21 lifeguards this summer, of which 10 or 12 will be only 15 years old.
"I wanted to warn you that this will be the youngest group I've ever hired as an aquatic staff," he told the board.
While the guards will be young, they nonetheless will be qualified, Weinschenk assured.
"Everybody who came in here (to interview), I've been impressed with," he said. "We just can't hire all of them."
State regulations allow a lifeguard to be hired at age 15. The nice thing about that, the park director noted, is the young guards will come in "with no bad habits."
Meanwhile, approved as park maintenance workers for the summer were John Spencer, Kyle Nobles, Christopher Faught, Nathan Welty and Valerie Gruener.
Softball concessions workers hired were Debbie Sage, Hilary Schroeder, Trevor Stewart, Ben Wilson and Ashtin Ford.
All the hirings were approved unanimously on a motion by Russ Evans and subsequent agreement by board members Tim Trigg, Kara Thomas and board president John Hennette.
The board also approved special requests for:
----Mikey's Friends of Charity fundraiser from noon to 6 p.m. June 4, culminating at the park with a disc jockey, Greencastle Fire Department Smoke House and fire truck on display.
----Ed Mishler's May 14 Ride for Cancer event at Big Walnut Sports Park.
----Cub Scout Park 99 campout at Big Walnut May 21-22, using the Babe Ruth field and nearby shelterhouse.
ญญ----Use of the leftover dirt from the recent regarding project at Big Walnut by the Greencastle High School soccer program to repair the GHS field and fill in low spots.
The Greencastle Park Board is next scheduled to meet at 7 pm. Wednesday, June 1 at City Hall.