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Chelsea Parks Commission Sends Trailhead Name to City Council for Approval

By Lisa Carolin

The Chelsea Parks and Recreation Committee recommended a name for the Timbertown Park Border-to-Border Trailhead at its May 7 meeting.

It will be up to Chelsea City Council to approve the recommendation to name the Trailhead honor of Joel C. Gentz, a Chelsea native who graduated from Chelsea High School in 2002 and very much enjoyed the outdoors as a runner, a boy scout, hiker, and backpacker. The Purdue graduate enlisted in the Air Force and was killed in action six weeks into deployment in Afghanistan in 2010 working as a combat rescue officer. The Gentz family lives in Chelsea.

Parks Commissioner George Merkel noted in his recommendation that by this selection, “We would honor Joel Gentz’ legacy as a Chelsea resident who gave their life in service to our town, state, and country, and as someone that so enthusiastically enjoyed the outdoors.”. 

Updates at the meeting regarding Timbertown construction included closing the playground portion of Timbertown after the July 4 holiday this summer, with actual project dates scheduled from Aug. 6-11.

The grand opening of the new playground is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 17. The city will post the dates on its website as soon as all the details are firm. The open green space, pickleball courts, and community garden, and much of the parking lot will remain accessible and open to the public.

Also discussed was new signage at Timbertown and other parks that includes general rules, keeping dogs on leashes, and limiting food and drink consumption to picnic tables and enclosed areas, as well as a new entrance sign for Timbertown on Sibley Road.

In other park news, demolition of buildings at the former Federal Screw Works property is underway at Main Street Park. A focus group for teens will be held on May 14 to learn what features are desirable at a skate park.

At Pierce Park, Meg Gower is working with Commissioner Sam Angus to do clean up and weeding as well as to move grasses to different locations in the park. With the help of volunteers, Gower wants to put annuals and perennials in the front bed and do mulching for an estimated cost of $500.

The Parks Committee’s next meeting is on June 4 at 9 a.m.

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