The Future of Dutch Jake's Park


With community input, the “pocket Park” at Broadway & Chestnut will be renovated this year

Holmes Elementary

Dutch Jake’s Park: Don’t you wonder what’s going to happen with construction, and why it’s named Dutch Jake’s Park? Today, I’ll explain that. 

The park was opened in 1976, it was named after Jacob Goetz. He was a mining tycoon from Germany who came to America. He was mining and found silver and gold and became rich. 

Now, about the construction: When it’s done, it’ll be 2019 — somewhere in April. The cost is about $410,000. They’re rebuilding it on people’s safety concerns. The city asked people about what they wanted to see in their park. So, you’ll see construction this summer, and sometime next year it’ll be done.

Opinion: envisioning a fun, safe Dutch Jake’s park

In March, our team of journalists interviewed planners Genevieve Dial and Grace Bergman to learn about plans to renovate Dutch Jake’s Park. We learned that they were  interested in hearing opinions about the future of the park from kids in West Central. They brought examples of options being considered and answered questions about our own ideas. Then, each journalist wrote an opinion about what would make the park better for people in the neighborhood.

Proposed Basketball Court Design by Jorge.

Proposed Basketball Court Design by Jorge.

I would like for Dutch Jake’s Park to have a basketball court. It’s important because a whole bunch of people like to exercise. I would put a whole bunch of NBA players’ names on the basketball court.

I would like the playground to be made out of plastic. It should have a twisty thing and a splash pad so kids would have fun in the summer. There should be a pretty flower bush surrounding the park. There should be swings, slides and a mini play area for little kids to play on, and there should also be a welcoming sign. And, there should be a tennis court. 

My playground idea would be a plastic playground. It would have walls so three-year-olds could play on it without getting hurt. My extras would be a good bathroom and a climbing wall. I would make sure I had room for all different kinds of sports. 

During winter, I would make sure we had a get-together with different kinds of families. During summer and spring, I would have a special place for a garden so plant lovers can garden. We would see trees, sunflowers, roses, tulips and a bunch of plants.

I would also have sports games  and concerts. We would start a camp and do stuff for holidays. In fall, I would have the park decorated for Halloween. If it was your birthday, we would give you a present when we see you. Oh, and we would give people sports stuff.

I would like plastic because wood would make you get slivers. I would like the twisty thing because it seems very fun. I think there should be a tennis field so you can play tennis there. I think they should have sports games or practices for people who like sports. Dutch Jake’s Park could be better if there were no crimes. 

I think to make Dutch Jake’s Park safer or more fun for kids, first, they should put up some rules for people to follow. Second, they should put plastic play toys and a swing set and one of those spinny things. Next, they should have picnic tables for family picnics. 

I would make Dutch Jake’s Park have a castle and have a swimming pool or a pond, and a lot of tulips and flowers with one willow tree. And, a place where a lot of people will go and some grills. It will be fun.

I think that Dutch Jake’s Park should be safe. No more killing. I want to see kids playing. I want a plastic playground — black and white with blue shapes. I want a ladder that will connect to a bridge that will connect to a bridge that will connect to a slide. 

And then, flowers, trees, a rose bush, an apple tree and strawberries, a bench, a picnic table and a special birthday area that has a big birthday table that already has birthday stuff in case kids want to have fun or anyone is having a birthday. 

My playground idea would be a huge wooden castle with a really big spiderweb made out of stretchy rope. They should add a splash pad and grills — and a spinning thing! □