In 2015, the community of Monticello, Minnesota sought to address their recreation needs and opportunities for development. Monticello has many high-quality public parks, home to scenic trails and open spaces. However, with aging athletic fields around the city and state, the community identified the need for a large athletic complex to house local, regional, and state-wide sporting events.
The purpose of this project was to develop a regional athletic complex with a focus on sustainability based on community needs and desires combined with an athletic needs assessment. WSB was selected to lead all aspects of this project from the planning and public engagement through final design of the first phases of implementation based on current funding.
WSB worked with the Monticello community to assess recreation needs and develop a master plan for this athletic complex to meet current and future needs. The resulting plan for this 115-acre site at the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park includes:
- 11 multi-use fields
- One adult baseball field
- Four little league baseball fields
- Four softball fields
- Tennis courts
- Ice hockey rink
- Recreation trails
- Play areas
- Concessions, restroom buildings and picnic pavilions
- Lighting, irrigation, and parking for more than 1,000 vehicles.
With the initial phases of the project complete, subsequent phases will continue as funding allows. Through this incremental approach, adjustments can be made as WSB continues to assess the community’s needs and challenges that arise. One main challenge involves building the infrastructure necessary to maintain the park sustainably, specifically relating to water use. To address this, WSB has implemented a water re-use system in which all rainwater is drained into the central pond, then recycled and used to irrigate the fields.
As development continues, flexibility and sustainability remain at the forefront of the discussion. The next needs assessment will take place in 2023, which will determine proper next steps to ensure money isn’t wasted on underused facilities.