Newport Parks Board Meeting Summation

Posted 3/31/21

MARCH 25TH PARKS BOARD MEETING SUMMATION: After roll call, the agenda and the February minutes were adopted. Chair Kelly Stoffel then introduced the topic of summer recreation and T-ball. Kelly …

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Newport Parks Board Meeting Summation


MARCH 25TH PARKS BOARD MEETING SUMMATION: After roll call, the agenda and the February minutes were adopted. Chair Kelly Stoffel then introduced the topic of summer recreation and T-ball. Kelly explained that Newport residents are welcome to sign up for any of the Woodbury summer recreation programs, including organized sports. Online registration started March 24th and in-person registration starts March 26th. Newport residents pay the same fees as Woodbury residents. The city of Newport offers financial assistance. Call 651-459-5677 for information about financial assistance.

The board then had a wide-ranging discussion about T-ball. They want to offer 6 weeks of T-ball (May 25-June 29) and 6 weeks of soccer (July 13-August 17). The T-ball that they hosted last summer was well received. They feel a big part of the success was that it was an informal Tuesday evening activity. No registration, t-shirts, funds raising or fees. Kids were just able to show up and play on whatever Tuesday evening fit into the family’s schedule. They debated how to keep this informal format and still get an idea as to how many kids are interested and their ages. Ages are 5-8. If enough kids are interested, they could have a team for 5-6 year old’s and a team for 7-8 year old’s.

Another concern was getting a couple of parent volunteers to help with the T-ball. Park board member Jenna Johnson mentioned she knows a parent who is interested in helping with soccer. A background check for any volunteer is required and paid for by the city.

It was noted that the Newport Athletic Association no longer exists. Steve Bern, the last president, has moved but is willing to help any parent interested in starting the organization back up. What equipment is left is stored in the old warming house building at Pioneer Park. Woodbury uses some of Newport ball fields. Steve used to do the scheduling for this but now Woodbury handles it. The board will make sure the field they want at Newport Elementary is reserved for them.

Board member Heidi Tweeten wondered if former board member Jermaine Wade would be interested in picking up where Steve left off?

In the end, the board decided to look into the various ways to get information to Newport elementary students either through community ed or through the principal.

Board Reports: Kelly: She noted that Friends of Pool 2 is participating in a plastic litter research program. Plastic litter, such as wrappers and bottles, wind up in the Mississippi and beyond even when thrown away far from the river. This research program will analyze the flow of plastic trash from where it is first thrown away to where it ends up in the river. Anyone in Newport can help with this research. (I have shared the city’s post on this below. Please just scroll down to the next post to get all the information if you are interested. There is an app to download on which you will record your information.) There are 2 5’ x 10’ garden plots still available at the community garden. ( this garden is located on the corner of 4th Ave. and 15th St.) cost is $10 plus a $20 deposit which is returned in the fall after your plot is cleaned up. Call 651- 459-5677 if interested.

Kelly has received a few questions asking why a splash pad was deleted from the original master plan for the new Lions’ Park at the firehall? Splash pads have a high maintenance cost. Both Woodbury and Cottage Grove have splash pads, so the city felt that attraction was already available to Newport residents.

Anita Perkins: the city is looking for a few more volunteers to adopt a park or trail for cleanup. (I believe the commitment is for 2 clean ups annually: spring and fall.) Heidi Tweeten: mentioned an article she read on Washington county restoring an oak savannah near Stillwater or Lake Elmo. She wondered what was happening with the Xcel Energy project that was proposed for under the power lines by Wings? Kelly said she will forward what information she has on this to Matt Yokiel of Public Works for Matt to follow up on.

Matt Yokiel: the compost site will be opening April 10th. The watershed district is working on new native plantings for the three river overlooks. This year will be a removal year for the old plantings that didn’t work well. 2022 will then be the year for new, shorter, and easier to maintain plantings to go in. He mentioned the prairie restoration the refinery is doing on their property at the south end of 7th Ave. He noted that they removed trees there as “prairies don’t have trees.”

Mayor Laurie Elliot told the board that the council has reluctantly canceled Pioneer Day again for 2021. Most vendors have already told the city they would be unavailable for this summer due to Covid.

Meeting adjourned.