Fairlawn Park nearing completion

Fairlawn Park nearing completion

The restroom facilities and pavilion at Fairlawn Park are nearly complete. (Breeze photos by Nicole Dotzenrod)
With last of park projects wrapping up, attention turns to field space

LINCOLN – Improvements to Lincoln’s Fairlawn Park are “95 percent done,” according to Town Planner Al Ranaldi. Visitors to the park will soon enjoy a set of new playground equipment, basketball courts, baseball field and a refreshed pavilion, among other changes.

It’s down to the finishing touches, Ranaldi said, calling the summer construction a “very, very, very smooth project.”

The fields still need to be finished, but Town Administrator Joe Almond said the park is “coming along very well. It will be a great little neighborhood park.”

Fairlawn is the last of Lincoln’s seven town parks to be renovated. Ranaldi said the town’s focus has been making sure each park has adequate restroom facilities, a functioning concession area and a pavilion for shelter.

“No matter the sport or activity happening at the park, you need a restroom. It’s convenient to have a concession stand and shelter. We’ve prioritized providing those three basics at each of the parks," he said.

Now that the basics are squared away, local officials say they are turning to field space as their next area of focus. Ranaldi said demand for youth sports fields has grown, with a huge increase in children enrolled in youth soccer programs.

“Soccer is the new Little League,” Ranaldi said. Years ago, the town experienced a “big push” for more baseball fields. Now, soccer fields are in high demand, with an increasing number of children signing up.

At Lonsdale Park, trees and shrubs are being cleared for a small soccer field to be built.

Though it won’t be regulation size, it’s intended to be used by the youngest players of local soccer leagues, under age 7.

“There’s a ton of young kids signing up, so by building these small fields you can take the young kids off the larger, regulation-sized fields,” Almond said. Only Manville Park can accommodate a regulation-sized field at this time. A study is currently being done to determine the best possible use of that property, and to suggest improvements.

Almond said the town purchased a half-acre of land adjoining Lonsdale Park years ago from a private resident, and the town administrator made a gentlemen’s agreement with a promise not to build on the land until the man died.

“I still believe in those,” Almond said of honoring the handshake agreement

For a small cleanup fee, Lincoln residents can rent facilities at any of the town’s parks through the Parks & Recreation Department.

New playground equipment has been installed at Fairlawn Park, now found close to the park’s entrance.