Big ideas unveiled for Manila parks

Jack Durham
Mad River Union

MANILA – Upgrading its tiny campground, repainting the tennis and basketball courts, creating a garden club to improve landscaping and building a dock for kayakers are among the recommendations being made for Manila parks.

The ideas were presented to the Manila Community Services District Board of Directors at the Nov. 20 meeting by directors Janette Bramlett and Joy Dellas, who serve on an hoc park committee. The duo met five times, toured Manila’s parks and interviewed park users. They also solicited input through the Next Door Manila social media site.

Manila.campsite1The sandy outpost has two parks – Manila Park, located on the east side of town along Humboldt Bay, and the park adjacent to the Manila Community Center on the west side of town. The town is also rich in dune environs and beach trails.

Campground

Manila Park is home to a tiny, two-site RV campground. The committee recommended that the campsite be upgraded and marketed to attract real tourists.

“Immediately set up a website-based process for handling reservations of the sites,” states a written report from the committee, “and create an inviting promotional graphic to distribute to websites that promote local camping and recreation so that Manila’s beach-side camping becomes a desirable stop on someone’s trip up the coast rather than cheap space for locals who abuse the generosity of our campsite host.”

The committee is recommending that the landscaping at the campsites be improved, with a visual barrier between the sites and the nearby road. Password- protected bathrooms and showers should also be installed.

New paint

The tennis and basketball courts should be repainted, the report recommends. The rotted bleachers should be removed or replaced, and the mysterious chunks of cement at the park should be disposed of.

Another recommendation is to have the district work with Humboldt State’s Campus Center for Appropriate Technology to build a graywater system to irrigate the sports fields.

Garden club

In an effort to improve the looks and safety of Manila’s parks, the committee is recommending the use of volunteers. For example, a garden club could be created to help improve the landscaping and planter beds at the parks. The district could also work more closely with the disc golfers at Manila Park’s popular nine-hole disc golf course. Local Neighborhood Watch groups could also patrol the parks to dissuade druggies and other criminal elements from using the park.

Dock on the bay

A long-term goal included in the committee’s recommendations is to get a grant to build an environmentally sensitive dock on the bay for use by facebook-like-buttonkayakers, canoers and other small-craft enthusiasts.

“There is currently no access to the bay from our side other than the Samoa campground ramp and it would be a terrific amenity to have in our park. It might also prevent people from vandalizing the park as there would be more people coming through here who are interested in preserving the site,” the report states.

The recommendations may be considered by the Manila board at future meetings.

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