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Jefferson City Parks Department looking to expand Washington and Ellis-Porter Park


The Jefferson City Department of Parks & Recreation & Forestry is looking to reshape Washington Park and the Botanical Gardens at Elis-Porter Park.

The city created a master plan which involves relocating the Washinton Ice Park arena and replacing the space. This project will also involve renovations to Vivian field and playground equipment.

The city said the new location of the Ice Park could now sit at Jefferson City's old prison.

The plan will cost nearly a million dollars to expand both Washington Park and Ellis-Porter Park. The buyout will be funded from the cell tower on the Washington Park Grounds.

Todd Spalding, a director in the project said their main goal is opening new areas that families can enjoy.

"We're going to focus on what park amenities should be at their core level you know... a place for people to go at no charge. Play features, benches, beautiful spaces that's what we're hoping to accomplish here," said Spalding.

Spalding said he plans for Washinton Ice Park to remain open while the new rink is built.

The rink may house things like basketball courts and other indoor activities for people in the community to enjoy.

All of the renovations at Ellis-Porter are taking place at a caretaker's home that's been vacant for over 100 years.

Ellis-Porter Park has common issues of flooding which could cause some problems. However, Spalding said his team will do their best to work around this.

"We're going to address hard surfaces and areas that we can detain water for a period of time to try and prevent as bad of flooding as we've had," said Spalding.

The team plans to house a box office for the new amphitheater at Ellis-Porter. They also plan to build a botanical garden which they'll start working on in the spring.

"We're gonna start with the master gardens hopefully this spring and doing some of the gardens right around that house... that building that kinda goes back to a beautiful river view. It's kinda right there on the rivers," said Spalding.

Kennedy Miller


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