More ideas for Riverside Park heard Monday

Sara  Sneath By Sara Sneath

March 10, 2014 at 11 p.m.
Updated March 9, 2014 at 10:10 p.m.

A monument for veterans and an off-leash dog park were among the ideas pitched at the second public meeting about the future of Riverside Park.

The South Texas Iraq-Afghanistan war monument, a war memorial project that has been in the works for about a year, could find a home in the city's largest park.

"That's just one idea. Having it (the monument) in the master plan is a kick starter," said Mayor Paul Polasek.

Polasek accompanied Gilbert Ramon, a Marine Corps veteran and president of the group developing the memorial project, to the public hearing Monday night. Ramon said Riverside Park is one idea on the list of places the monument could end up. Having a monument in his hometown has been a dream of his, Ramon said.

He said the monument is still in the planning stage and does not yet have a designated appearance or location.

"It's about planting a seed," Polasek said of bringing up the monument at the public meeting.

Tom Willis, a Victoria resident, had another seed to plant Monday.

"Today, I want to be a voice for the dogs of Victoria," he said at the meeting.

Willis suggested an off-leash dog area at Riverside Park equipped with obstacles for dogs to play on, like ramps and tunnels. The project could double as an answer to the unmet need for an off-leash dog area in Victoria and a service project for Boy Scouts who want to reach the Eagle Scout rank, he said.

"The Scouts can build the toys. This could be 10 or 12 different Eagle Scout projects," Willis said.

John Doane, 17, a Boy Scout with Troop 368, said he has six months to complete his Eagle Scout project, which must be completed before a scout turns 18.

"Nobody really has a dog park. So there's a need," he said.

Some of the suggestions at the first public meeting in January were echoed Monday, such as the need to clear away brush from the river and better lighting along the hike and bike trail.



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