Lansing City Council members reviewed a master parks and recreation plan Thursday, guided by Shannon Gordon of Landworks Studio.

Lansing City Council members reviewed a master parks and recreation plan Thursday, guided by Shannon Gordon of Landworks Studio.

The council viewed a previous draft of the plan, which was also viewed in four charrettes, attended by Lansing residents. The draft can be seen online at

As before, the focus of phase one of the plan is Ken Bernard Park and City Park. Gordon said Bernard Park can be classified as a regional park, while other parks in the city are neighborhood parks. During the first phase, soccer, baseball and softball fields will be developed at Bernard Park. Eventually there will be a full-fledged Lansing Daze area, shelters, a concession area and a secondary entrance. In later phases, the trail system will be fully developed and the north end will be developed as an arboretum.

Moving the ball fields to Bernard Park will free up the other parks for different kinds of features and allow them to actually be neighborhood parks. City Park, for example, will have a splash pad, a destination playground, a larger walking trail, a shelter and a restroom, according to the draft Gordon outlined.

The plan calls for splash pads in several of the city’s parks, including Bittersweet Park and Willow Park. The master plan outlines possibilities for each of Lansing’s parks and projects costs for the improvements.

At the end of the presentation Janette Holderman Labbee expressed dissatisfaction with the splash pads, which she said were mainly for small children. She prefers a swimming pool that would also serve adults and has championed such a pool several times over the years, unsuccessfully, she added.

Several council members also expressed similar thoughts. Kerry Brungardt noted that Lansing is the largest city in the state without a pool. City Administrator Tim Vandall said it would be great to have a pool, but he didn’t see how the city could afford it in phase one.

“Five million dollars gets us a plain Jane pool and nothing else,” he noted.

Council Member Dave Trinkle asked where it would be located. Most cities might have areas where water and other utilities were already there, but that is not the case in Lansing.

“And we’d be losing money every year,” Vandall added. He believes it would be a struggle to find part-time help at $10 an hour. Brungardt thinks high school youth would love the chance to be life guards.

Gordon said the city of Wichita has 11 pools, and they are taking seven away to be replaced by splash pads. They have an average of eight people at the pools each day, and the city is losing between $600,000 and $1 million annually. The switch to splash pads is a nationwide trend, he added.

Brungardt wants to get information about other pools in the area before voting on the master plan.