It’s time to ‘Polish Up Taylor Park’

Community input meeting set for Nov. 15

As part of Traer’s upcoming 150th year, the Sesquicentennial Committee, the Taylor Park Landscaping and Beautification Committee, and the City of Traer are focusing on a long-term landscaping and beautification initiative in Taylor Park – we’re calling it ‘Polish Up Taylor Park’.

Our project goals are to see Taylor Park blossom as a vibrant centerpiece of Traer once again. Our plan, in phases, is for a long-term overall landscape design including trees, shrubs, flowers, plants, and other hardscape features, as well as maintenance and repairs to the gazebo/ bandstand, restrooms, driveways, play equipment, picnic tables, park benches, and the entrance archway monument.

Taylor Park is a central feature of Traer. Since the derecho and other wind events, many areas including the trees, shrubbery, flowers, plants, and hardscape features have fallen into disrepair. Take a walk through the park and you’ll get the picture. With our new shelter house and swimming pool attractions, it’s a great time to bring these other park areas up to par. Taylor Park can and should be a showcase of our town.

Here are our park objectives:

Consult with Iowa State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and its Community Design Lab group to assess and make recommendations for the park grounds, areas in need of renovation, and other potential improvement ideas

Develop a long-term plan for several phases of landscaping and beautification including tree/shrub/plant selections, hard-scaping, cost estimates, maintenance considerations, etc

Stir enthusiasm in the community for folks that are interested in helping out with planning, planting, and maintenance responsibilities in the future

Work with the City of Traer to finance certain projects

Seek grant funding and local fundraising to support Polish Up Taylor Park into the future

Initial planting of some flowers/bulbs/shrubs to be in bloom for the 2023 Sesquicentennial celebration

Plan a ‘Plant The Park Day’ for the initial planting of Phase 1 plants/flowers, a chance to inform the community of

the long-term landscape plans for the park, and to glean volunteers who will help maintain the landscaped areas

Partner with our local Master Gardeners and residents with green thumbs

Include school children to educate and involve them in giving back to the community

All residents and visitors, young and old, benefit from a green space they are proud to stroll in, play in, picnic in, and hold events in. Green spaces increase the quality of life for a community and the value and pride we have in our land.

ISU Community Design Lab visits Traer

As part of the Polish Up Taylor Park initiative, Iowa State University’s Community Design Lab (ISU CDL) has been hired to perform a comprehensive site evaluation and recommendations for landscape, hardscape, tree canopy, and overall improvements to Taylor Park.

Chad Hunter, Assistant Director ISU CDL, and Parker Wang, a student intern with the Iowa State’s Department of Landscape Architecture were in Traer on Tuesday, September 27 for their initial site visit. Members of the Taylor Park Landscaping & Beautification Committee were on hand to show them around.

The group explored the park with these areas of improvement in mind:

-Floral plantings, bushes, shrubs, and overall landscaping

-Landscaping around gazebo

-Tree canopy evaluation

-Trash solutions

-Designated picnic areas

-Sidewalk along Highway 63

-Sidewalk paths throughout the park

-Children and teens play/interactive areas

-Park benches

-Picnic tables

-Basketball court

-Horseshoe pits renovated

-Use for paved area on NW corner

-Any needs for pool area

-Access to water and electricity

-Consideration for Christmas decorations

–Veterans Memorial Monument considerations

Community input meeting Nov. 15

Join us for a Community Input Meeting about future plans for Taylor Park on Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Traer Public Library’s Kupka Cultural Center Room.

Meet the ISU Community Design Lab folks, hear their initial inventory and analysis report, and give your input on desired amenities, site configurations, goals, concerns, and opportunities for improving Taylor Park.