Lower Kinnear Park project gets new life

Oversight committee recommends funding

The restoration project at lower Kinnear Park, which earlier this year was a longshot at receiving levy funds, is back in the running.
The citizens oversight committee for the parks department last week went to about 40 sites that topped the list for funding by the 2010 Parks & Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund. But several of the sites that had met parks requirements still were not fit for immediate funding. That meant other proposals that were further down on the priority list, were bumped up - including the restoration project at lower Kinnear Park.
"This is huge for us," said FOLKpark founder Debi Frausto. "It's not a done deal but we're looking pretty good."
Of the $7 million available in levy funds, the committee recommended giving $750,000 to the lower Kinnear Park project. The project would create new paths, lower the tennis court, add indigenous plantlife and open up the space to attract more visitors. Friends of Lower Kinnear Park, or FOLKpark, have raised funds through grants, neighbor donations and are planning a neighborhood yard sale. It received a $100,000 grant to get the planning and design work done on the project, something that in the end, helped move it up on the committee's project approval list.
Several projects slated for funds were not in a ready state, were too close to existing green spaces or simply didn't make sense, according to committee member Don Harper.
"There was a Boren Street project up off Denny that wanted to be a street park. And it scored high because it was in an urban center and was taking up SDOT property," he said. "We looked at it and it was almost a unanimous no. One block away was Terry Street that already had a green street project."
Another example, Harper said, was Discovery Park's Capehart housing removal project. That one had been slated for $700,000. But it had already been granted $1 million through the levy, so the committee elected to hold off on any future funding.
A public hearing on the committee's choices will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 25 at the Miller Community Center at 330 19th Ave. E. At the hearing, citizens and proponents can voice their opinions on the committee's decisions. Frausto will be there to sing the praises of her project.
"We will make our case then and praise them on their good decision," Frausto said.
After the hearing, the committee will send its recommendation to the parks department which will have final say.[[In-content Ad]]