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Tidings file photoLithia Park in the morning

Lithia Park: Major brain storming in the forecast

The public has a wealth of opportunities this week to speak up about its ideas about Lithia Park and to hear more about the development of a master plan to guide it through the next century in what’s been dubbed “Design Week for Lithia Park.”

The plan will guide the management of the resources, facilities and visitor experiences over the next 100 years, ensuring that Lithia Park continues to shine as Ashland’s jewel, according to an announcement from the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission.

The parks commission authorized a $230,000 contract last year with Portland consultant firm MIG, Inc. and launched the process in November.

This week’s events will focus on vision and concept development, including workshop-type meetings on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and five other opportunities where the public can come watch planners at work or speak to planners about concerns, suggestions and questions they may have.

All of Design Week is structured as an “open door” design team working session, where anyone can drop in while the team is working.

Here’s the schedule:

• Tuesday, June 12, 7 to 9 p.m.: Kick-off meeting and visioning for the public to offer input on the 100-year Lithia Park Master Plan; Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way. This meeting will focus on shaping the overall vision for the Lithia Park Master Plan.

• Wednesday, June 13, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: The public is invited anytime during these hours to offer input on the 100-year Lithia Park Master Plan and see the design team in action at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way.

• Wednesday, 1:30 to 3 p.m.: APRC Lithia Park Master Plan Committee meeting, also open to the public, Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way. (Public input is offered near the beginning of the meeting. Speakers must complete a request form beforehand and will have three to five minutes to speak.)

• Wednesday, June 13, 5 to 7 p.m.: Listening post for the public to offer input on the 100-year Lithia Park Master Plan at the Butler Bandshell in Lithia Park, 150 Winburn Way. The post will give the community the opportunity to see and comment on how the design and planning sessions are progressing. (In case of inclement weather, post will be in the APRC Conference Room at 340 South Pioneer St.)

• Thursday, June 14, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: The public is invited anytime during these hours to offer input on the 100-year Lithia Park Master Plan and see the design team in action at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way.

• Thursday, June 14, 7 to 9 p.m.: Public workshop, another opportunity for the public to offer input on the 100-year Lithia Park Master Plan at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way. This workshop will solicit feedback on the design ideas that come out of design week.

• Friday, June 15, 9 to 11 a.m.: APRC Lithia Park Master Plan Committee Meeting, also open to the public in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development Building, 51 Winburn Way. (Public input is offered near the beginning of the meeting. Speakers must complete a request form beforehand and will have three to five minutes to speak.)

Anyone who would like to share their thoughts on the Lithia Park Master Plan and is unable to attend a public meeting, can email ParksInfo@ashland.or.us or call 541-488-5340. More information is available at ashland.or.us/LithiaParkMasterPlan and at Facebook.com/AshlandParksandRec. Planners are also posting updates on social media using the hashtags #lithiaparkmasterplan, #lithiaparknext100years and #lithiapark.

Besides MIG (migcom.com), the team of consultants for the master plan includes local landscape architect KenCairn Associates, among other team members. More information about the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission is online at AshandParksandRec.org.

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