Progress continues to be made at Baldwin’s Young Park

Progress continues to be made at Young Park, where a Healthy Communities Partnership task force has been offering Saturday morning walks since October to show off hiking trails and discuss other plans for the park. Their last hike will take place this Saturday, Nov. 27, at 8 a.m.

These hikes have given residents an opportunity to get to know the land.

“I was amazed; many that had showed interest in Young Park at the June 29 dinner visioning meeting did not even know where the park land was,” said task force member Dean Kleinhans.

The park is located at the intersection of 305th Avenue and 108th Street.

The task force has also applied for a State Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant from Sherburne County, which would help it encourage participation in healthy activities at the park by funding a newsletter that would spread information about the park, trail signs, bike racks and events.

Members will find out if they are receiving grant funds Dec. 17.

While there are a few improvements yet to be made at the park, Dean and others hope to host its first event next month to celebrate the winter solstice.

Plans for the Dec. 19 event include a luminary-lit trail for hiking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing, healthy refreshments and a bonfire where neighbors can chat while keeping warm.

In order to spread the word about the event and look for more local support, the team has been canvassing neighborhoods surrounding the park to look for volunteers. Dean expects this effort will recruit new members to the task force.

The task force continues to make progress outlining the park’s boundaries. Maps of the mowed trails are now available at the newly roughed-out parking lot for visitors to take with them as they explore the park. The task force is looking into creating a monument to Kermit Young, who donated the land, as well as making plans to refurbish some benches the Baldwin Park Committee already owns.

The task force has also been working on two of its other objectives. Members have been working to find community meeting spaces by looking at the fire hall’s lounge/kitchen area, as well as the fire hall’s upstairs training room. They have also found several private structures that may be available for future community gatherings.

Improving communication methods is another objective for the task force. It has made modifications on Baldwin’s website to make the HCP program more visible and link up with their Facebook page. They have made HCP updates available via handouts, which were offered as residents exited the polls November 2.

They are also looking into a monthly newsletter that could be mailed to residents while they work toward collecting emails for paperless distribution of the newsletter.

Residents interested in signing up to volunteer for any of the HCP task forces can click on the HCP link in the left hand corner of the township’s homepage.

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