Friday, August 9, 2013

Ketchum to open new city park

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for Farnlun Park set for Monday

Express Staff Writer

The city of Ketchum will open the new Farnlun Park on Monday. The park is next to the Wood River Trail bike path south of central Ketchum, near the intersection of state Highway 75 and Elkhorn Road. Photo by Roland Lane

    The city of Ketchum is set to open a new public park on Monday, Aug. 12.
    With a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., the city will dedicate the new Farnlun Park south of downtown, along the Wood River Trail between River Ranch Road and Meadow Circle.
    Construction of the park began last spring. The park itself is a small portion of what was once cattle ranching and dairy farming land owned by the Oscar Smith Farlun family. In 2009, both the land and development funds were donated courtesy of Farnlun’s daughter, Petra Morrison.
    Parks and Recreation Department Director Jennifer Smith said that Morrison’s attorney, Deborah Kronenberg, first brought the concept to her department. Smith said landscape architect Rob King designed the park free of charge. Led by crew leader Dan Hoffman, the company Webb Landscape was contracted to build the park.
    “The park includes a good variety of vegetation including trees, flowering trees, and there is a good mix of deciduous and coniferous trees,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of lilacs, and they should start to look really good in a few years. … There’s a decomposed-granite path, two benches and a sign that tells the story of the property.”
    Smith said she is unsure of whether or not there will be parking issues at the park.
    “I don’t think this is a destination for people in cars. It’s more of a destination for people using the Wood River Trail,” Smith said. “If parking issues arise, we will work with some signage. Honestly, if you do feel like driving to this park, there’s lots of parking off River Mansion Meadow Circle.”  
    Of the approximate $34,000 spent on the park, about $24,000 was donated by Morrison, while the city of Ketchum spent about $10,000.
    Smith said she thinks the park will be a good destination for families.
    “I think the family of five or whatever will head down the path. The Wood River Trail is obviously a great resource for the community,” she said. “If a 6-year-old is getting tired, hey, here’s a bench we can sit on. It’s a public space, we know that, so let’s hang out and then turn around.”

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