The city of Auburn is growing rapidly, adding taller building, apartment complexes and businesses.
Many residents would prefer to see the small-town charm remain without new constructions. Others are supportive of the growth.
Amid the construction, however, are a few city parks, with one more on the way: Dinius Park.
East Glenn Avenue in Ward 4 will be the home for the new 13-acre park, which will feature more trees than sports fields.
This is the first park in Ward 4 and Ward 4 Councilman Brett Smith says that the location is centralized, which is a good thing. Families who want to take a trip to the park may have an easier time getting to Dinius rather than Kiesal or Town Creek.
The Dinius family, which donated the land for the park as well as funds to construct it, asked that it be a passive park, which means limiting manmade structures and keeping things natural.
“The Diniuses had a vision that this would become a place that the citizens of Auburn could enjoy family time and to enjoy nature and kind of get away from the hustle and bustle of being in town,” Smith said.
Dinius Park will include areas for dogs. One dog park will be a little more than an acre and another at just under half an acre. Auburn Parks and Recreation Director Becky Richardson said that one will accommodate larger breeds while the other will be for the smaller dogs.
There will be walking paths and restrooms, as well as a nature playground. The playground will include a swing set, log steps, a teepee village, a climbing spider and more.
“It would be a mix of natural materials like logs and rocks and things like that,” Richardson said. “Or a built mound of dirt that kids could play on and that would be mixed with some regular playground equipment that also kind of has a nature flavor to it.”
As a parent himself, Smith said he appreciated that the shade from the trees would allow for cooler weather during the summers at the park.
“The idea was to have minimal impact on the existing nature in the area, but to create an opportunity for families in that area to have a place to enjoy the outdoors,” Smith said.
The neighborhood near the park is well established already, Smith said, and so this park will be a good addition for the area. There will also be sidewalk enhancements as part of the park plan.
Since the area is already established, and Duck Samford is across the street, he does not expect Dinius park will affect traffic much.
Families will be able to start enjoying the new park as soon as fall 2020 since construction will begin in February, Richardson said.
“It’s very easy to basically cover your entire city with asphalt and concrete,” Smith said. “The challenging part is to develop and to account for growth and to have a nice place to live but also do it where you’re co-existing with nature.”