Capaha Park

Monday, August 27, 2012

A design firm hired by the city of Cape Girardeau presented a couple of different improvement plans for Capaha Park last week. The park could take on a whole different look in the future, with the designs offering new water features, a bigger lake, a boardwalk and many other new amenities. The basic layout of the park could change dramatically, with the possibilities of entrances being eliminated.

Many of the options are exciting to talk about, but the plan thus far did not come with cost estimates. There is no doubt that the upgrades described will be expensive.

The design firm, along with city officials, will take input and suggestions and come back with a more detailed plan this fall.

The city will seek continued input throughout the process, even if you didn't have a chance to attend one of the two meetings Tuesday. The parks and recreation board, which consists of volunteers, has already been involved with the plan, and will continue to be included in decisions as the plans move forward. The city is working on an online feedback option which could be up as early as next week. The city will seek input through September before finalizing recommendations. Residents may also contact their city council representative. There will be another public presentation once the city gets closer to having a final conceptual design completed.

Capaha Park is a beloved park in the heart of Cape Girardeau. It's prudent that the city take a look at some of the problems the park is having. For example, the pond -- or "lagoon" as it is colloquially called -- needs work to fix the recurring pond scum issue. And the removal of the old swimming pool presents an opportunity to give the park a face-lift.

The extent of the upgrades and the timetable for implementation has yet to be determined. So much of those decisions will be based on cost. But it's always good to have a plan to guide future decisions. Now is the time for Cape residents to weigh in on the direction of Capaha Park.

Drawings of the plans can be found at www.semissourian.com.

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