Crossroads Park community open house

Nine-year-old Allesandra Brown points out a feature she would like to see at the future Crossroads Park in Sheldon during a community open house to develop a master plan for the project on Dec. 6.

SHELDON—Allesandra Brown was not shy about saying what she wanted to see in Sheldon’s future Crossroads Park.

During a community open house event on Thursday, Dec. 6,  in which residents were asked to provide input on what amenities should go into the park’s master plan, the 9-year-old Sheldon girl had a laundry list ideas.

An obstacle rope course, a zip line, a bouncy village, a rock wall, a natural playground and a rock climbing wall were some features Allesandra placed green stickers on, indicating that she supported concepts.

This was the type of feedback Sheldon officials and staff from RDG Planning & Design of Des Moines wanted to see during the open house, which was 1-3 p.m. An hour long workshop followed at 6 p.m.

Some of the most popular features residents want to see at the 40-acre site, which is adjacent to Crossroads Pavilion event center and features a borrow-pit pond at its core, are paved trails, parking, fishing docks, a sledding area, an open lawn and a shelter house.

Items that were vehemently voted down were a disc golf course, a birding area, a pickleball court, a drone flying area, and two of Allesandra’s choices — the rock wall and the bounce village — also received strong “no” votes from the community.

The most divisive amenities were a dog park and splash pad, which received equal nearly amounts of “no” and “yes” votes.

Sheldon recreation director Jake Kerr, who attended the open house, shared some of the items he and the park board would like to see at the park.

Most of the board’s vision was standard features like parking, restrooms, a paved trail and a shelter house, and possibly a sand volleyball court since Sheldon does not have one.

“Our main goal was not to add too many amenities because we believe that we don’t have an open park in Sheldon and we kind of wanted to clamper down on not having too many amenities so people can use that open space as they please,” he said.

Angela Palmer of Sheldon has a son who has special needs, which is why she attended the open house. Palmer wants to make sure that whatever park ends up being built in town is accessible for all residents and has sensory-friendly features.

A steering committee made up of local residents will work with RDG to make sure the master plan for the park encompasses the amenities people want to see.

There is no official timetable for this park, but Curt Strouth, executive director of Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation, which is jointly funding this $20,000 master plan with the city of Sheldon, has previously noted why this process is important.

“Ultimately, when we get done with this, we’ll have the rendering, we’ll have cost estimates and those two things are very, very important for the city council to determine how we proceed,” Strouth said.