Crystal Prepares for Signature Park Makeover
Change is coming to Crystal’s signature park, Becker Park.
The city had an open house Thursday night to get feedback on Becker Park and also let residents know about a major redevelopment plan there.
“Really the plan for Becker Park is to be Crystal’s central gathering place for community events and for family events,” said John Elholm, Crystal’s Recreation Director.
Crystal wants to make Becker Park a hub. A welcome space where people come together and have many outdoor options to choose from.
“Really hoping to make this the place to celebrate in Crystal,” Elholm said.
The Becker makeover is in phase one, with 30 percent of the project complete.
Eventually the park will have more grass, picnic and performance areas, and a new trail system.
It will also be kid-centric.
“The playground will be the central feature,” Elholm said. “Right now there’s a lot of fences and it’s not an overly welcoming place to go, so we’re going to take down the fences and put in what we’re hearing from the public what they would really like to see.”
“I used to come here as a kid and it hasn’t changed much,” said Jessica Ryan of Brooklyn Park., “So it will be nice to have a bigger area for the kids to play in.”
The current playground at Becker is tucked away and not easy to spot.
“If you didn’t know that it was back here, you couldn’t find it, for sure,” Ryan said. “You can’t really see it from the road.”
Another cool tradition – literally – will be a spray pad.
“It’s like a fountain on concrete that you can run through,” Elholm said. “Or if you’re using a wheel chair, can roll through.”
For decades, Becker Park’s hallmark has been softball. The venue hosts the annual Crystal Frolics Tournament every July and there are countless games in the spring, summer and fall.
But that is going to change.
“One of them is being relocated to Welcome Park,” Elholm said. “You’ll see that construction in 2018 coming up this summer. The softball fields will go away here and be replaced by a large playground.his summer.”
Crystal’s goal is to have redevelopment plans completed by September and begin construction at Becker Park in 2019.
The city will have another public open house in mid-July.