By Jerome Tharaud/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Havre's east end will get a new park next year, but not before some work by the Havre Parks and Recreation Department is done to develop the property.
The property, which will be called Henderson Park, extends from Eagles Park north over a hill to First Street Northeast between 18th and 19th avenues, said Havre parks and recreation director Dave Wilson. The property adjoins Eagles Park but will be a separate park.
The property, which consists of five 150-by-50-foot lots, was gifted to the city several years ago by former Havre resident Lee Henderson, Wilson said. He said the property has not been developed yet because, at the time it was given, several years' worth of projects had been scheduled for the park system.
The land has native grasses growing on it now, Wilson said, and will take some work and equipment before it can be used. Some soil will be removed from the hill on the park's south side and used to raise the level of the ground on the north side. Grass will be planted and an underground sprinkler system will be put in.
The work on the project will begin this spring and the park probably will be ready for use in the summer of 2005, Wilson said.
Eventually the park will have picnic tables and trees. There may also be some playground equipment, a gazebo and a walking path, Wilson said.
"We're moving ahead, and our focus has been to make improvements that everyone will benefit from," he said.
The work will be paid for in part with money donated by Henderson along with the property, Wilson said. Capital improvement project funds set aside by the department for specific items like sprinklers may also be used.
Havre Mayor Bob Rice said today he thinks the park will improve the surrounding neighborhood.
"If you were buying a house and there was a nice park across the street or in the neighborhood, it would definitely influence your decision to live there," he said.
Homeowner Rick Clark, 36, lives about a half a block away from the park site. He said he hadn't heard about the plans to develop the park, but he supports the idea.
"I'm glad because right now there isn't much over there," he said. Clark has three children who play at Eagles Park.