Enriching Auburn’s Parks and Green Spaces
By Eric Ditmars, Superintendent, Auburn Parks and Recreation
Parks and green spaces help shape the identity of a community, providing numerous recreational, environmental and health benefits. Even more, they can enhance property values, increase municipal revenue and attract new families and businesses to an area. It’s for all these reasons—and more—that we’ve worked to improve Auburn’s parks system in recent years. In the last year alone, we’ve focused on four key areas:
We’re in the process of making surface repairs on Rieke Trail, from North Street to Betz Road. Enhancements include removing damaged areas and applying new surfacing. These repairs will make the trail smoother and more functional. Additionally, we’re building a new trail (approximately half a mile in length) off of Rieke Trail to the YMCA soccer complex on the city’s northwest side. This trail is ADA-compliant and is utilizing a one-step asphalt surfacing that will eliminate sub-cracking over time. It will be open to pedestrians and bikers by end of November. Our trails—along with the region’s United Trail System that encompasses 12 counties, including DeKalb County—can be enjoyed by all ages.
Three of our parks—Eckhart, Forrest and Thomas—are being updated with new playground equipment. The new structures include inclusive swings that allow children of all abilities to enjoy swinging in a safe and secure seat.
This month, we also kicked off another project: a floating fishing pier at Rieke Park. This ADA-compliant platform includes railings, two benches and a 40-foot gangway. In addition to casting fishing poles, visitors can enjoy the pier as a nature viewing area. The pier will be open later this year.
Over the past year, we’ve expanded our program offering so we have options for many ages and a variety of interests. You can always find a list of our upcoming programs on the City of Auburn’s Facebook page.
Taking Pride in Our Parks
It’s exciting for Auburn Parks and Recreation to be part of this progress to our community. We take great pride in improving Auburn’s interconnected system of parks, green spaces, trails and recreational events. Best of all, our amenities and activities are free or low cost to residents, making them readily accessible.