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Chelsea Parks Commission looking into increased accessibility

By Lisa Carolin

In order to see a good example of accessibility for the disabled at an area park, Parks Commission members plan to meet in July at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor and possibly another, yet-to-be named park.

The Commission received feedback about its overall plan for Pierce Park that included having more accessibility. The site visit(s) will tentatively take place on July 10 in lieu of a meeting.

City Manager John Hanifan said that he spoke with landscape designer Meg Gowen about the plan for Pierce Park, but there’s nothing definitive about what the next steps will be.

“There’s a big leap from concept to implementation,” said Hanifan. “We’re open to suggestions regarding ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.”

Commission member Andrew Thomson talked about the rock in Pierce Park, which garnered more feedback than anything else and will not be moved based on public opinion. He asked if there are any additional design ideas for the area surrounding the rock. Mayor Melissa Johnson, a member of the Parks Commission, said that every time she visits the park, there is new graffiti in the 15-foot area surrounding the rock and suggested that bushes could be used as a landscaping barrier. The Parks Commission wants to discourage people from painting the trees.

Erin Brayton, also a Parks Commission member, mentioned that the existing play structure is better suited for little children, and the proposed play structure is aimed at older kids. She also suggested having a lost and found for all the city’s parks.

The Parks Commission chose Johnson as chair, and Sara Wedell as vice chair.

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