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Future of Keene's Wheelock Park to be discussed at hearings next month

KEENE — The future of Wheelock Park will be up for discussion at two public hearings next month.

The Parks and Recreation Department is hosting two community-wide public forums March 19. The first forum is planned for the afternoon from 3:30 to 5 p.m. An evening session is planned from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Both forums will be held in the multipurpose room of the Recreation Center at 312 Washington St.

Gathering public input is the first step in a community-wide discussion on the park that is being conducted by GreenPlay, LLC. The Colorado-based parks, recreation and open space consultants were hired by the city to conduct an active and passive recreation master plan.
The plan was completed about a year ago, Mayor Kendall Lane said Wednesday, but it raised questions about the future of the park including hould activities at the park increase or decrease and should the buildings on the property be refurbished for new or expanded activities.
“One of the recommendations that came out of that was that we needed to have a plan for Wheelock Park,” Lane said. “There is a lot of activity that goes on there. … Some want more, some want less.”

Current activities at the 42 acre-park includes camping, tennis, swimming in an outdoor pool, softball, horseshoes and there is bike path running through the park.
“Whether Wheelock Park can support additional things, that’s really up to the community,” Lane said.

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