Feature Article - October 2005
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Stunning Shelters

Planning and protecting outdoor structures

By Stacy St. Clair

Forms of I.D.

Not all outdoor structures, however, need to be memorials to have a powerful impact. Some communities have used their shelters to foster an identity.

In Blaine, Minn., for example, officials wanted to create opportunities for resident input and suggestions. They achieved this goal by holding a planning gathering on a Saturday to discuss recreation ideas.

The suggestions helped the park board shape its plans for a town square park with a picnic and performance shelter, as well as a trellis structure and seat wall enclosure.

The park currently is being built in front of city hall. In order to compliment the surroundings, the trellis and kiosk post columns replicate the municipal building's roof and post columns.

"We're creating something new, a park for everyone in the community," says Jim Peterson, Blaine Parks and Recreation director. "We wanted a focal point of the city. We've never had that before."

The park, which is being funded by the municipality, will be finished this fall. Construction, however, has successfully piqued residents' interests.

"People in Blaine are curious about what's going on," Peterson says. "People keep stopping in and asking about it."