"We're always looking to connect people to parks," said Mike Snyder, senior parks planner for the Parks and Recreation Department.
He said one option would be to construct a shelter or deck, possibly with picnic tables or benches. It would be built just to the east of the parking lot, overlooking Hinkson Creek. Snyder noted that several people eat lunch at the park but do not really have a comfortable place to do so outdoors.
The second idea was to construct a trail to connect Stadium Boulevard to the Capen Park parking lot. The proposed trail would wind along the west side of the cliffs overlooking the creek. Synder said the trail's slope would be about a 5 percent grade.
One meeting attendee raised a question about amenities at the shelter or deck, like bathrooms, electricity or running water. Because it will not be open to reservations from the public, such amenities are not imperative, Snyder replied.
Others asked about the surface of the trail. Bob Collins, who frequents Capen Park, was strongly in favor of a gravel trail instead of a concrete trail but wanted to know how the department factored in others' opinions.
Snyder said that maintenance was a big consideration in choosing the surface of the trail. Each location is different, but gravel may be harder to maintain because of runoff and erosion, he said.
"It's all a balancing act," Snyder said. "Different areas are suitable for different kinds of surfaces."
Having a variety of trail types in the city is good, he added.
The attendees were invited to fill out comment sheets and encouraged to e-mail the department with any opinions or questions regarding park improvements.
The department will continue to accept opinions from the public and will ultimately make a recommendation to the City Council. The department hopes to have a plan approved and to begin construction in spring 2011.