The Decatur Park District has put up a RFQ packet on its’ site to attract a professional planning firm with the qualifications to create a master plan for Nelson Park. Reading through the packet, I haven’t come across anything new. Residential development is still being considered. Just about every part of the park is under review but for Nelson Park Pavilion #1 and the beach house, which were both built in the late 1930’s as WPA projects.
One site that I haven’t discussed, (there’s actually something I haven’t discussed yet), is the miniature golf course at Nelson Park. It is also under review. I can’t think of a better use for that site, though the golf course is dated and could use some sprucing up. In Wisconsin Dells and Myrtle Beach, I drove by and played, on some of the newer miniature golf courses, which are major attractions for these areas. In Wisconsin Dells alone, many of the golf courses were themed. One had a volcano which shot out fire, while another one had crashing waterfalls and rocky cliffs, reminiscent of Disneyland. Some of those ideas might be over the top for Decatur but modernizing our miniature golf course isn’t a bad idea.
The thing that gets me still, is the closure of the Nelson Park golf course. It seems to me, if Decatur wants to market the Nelson Park area, a nice golf course would fit into the plan. What else are we going to use all that land for? At one time, I wasn’t against some residential development on a portion of the golf course, but I’ve changed my mind on that. Green space has value too and once you destroy it, it’s gone – at least for our generation.
Another thing that really irks me is the insistance that the closure of the golf course had nothing to do with any future development plans. Uhm…