It’s Time To Make Kauffman Park A Priority
Kauffman Park, named for Lakewood’s longest serving mayor, Amos Kauffman, is tucked behind Drug Mart and occupies the space between Lakeland and Andrews Avenues. The park has captured the imaginations of our neighbors and sparked the creation of Friends of Kauffman Park. For years, the organization’s membership has been working to improve the park, so that it can attain its full potential as a city-wide destination with amenities that everyone can enjoy. The time is now to make investment in Kauffman Park a priority.
Lakewood has fewer acres of park space per person than Cleveland or Chicago, according to the Park System Strategic Plan of 2010. This means we must make the green space we have really count and carefully consider a design that serves many different constituencies.
The City has recently made improvements to Kaufman Park, such as the installation of the walking track and the replacement of the bleachers. While we should be encouraged by these upgrades, there is much more to be done. Some basic updates include improvements to the playground area and redesigning seldom used areas, such as the former mini golf space. The Kauffman Park Master Plan, created by the Friends of Kaufman Park in partnership with LakewoodAlive, calls for multiple, layered uses that could include reading gardens and learning trails. The plan also contemplates a unique feature, like a splash pad, to be installed to attract more people, and the creation of an area that teens and tweens can call their own.
While speaking with Ward 2 residents, I have heard great ideas about what features can be added to make the park more functional and enjoyable. Ultimately, individuals and families want quality parks to take their children, to enjoy nature, and to exercise. We can and should deliver on this need.
If elected, I will work with my fellow members of City Council to allocate the money necessary to complete the work to improve Kauffman Park and make it a city-wide draw comparable to Lakewood and Madison Parks. I will push our newly-elected mayor to make improvements to Kauffman Park a priority and engage you in the process to ensure that Kauffman Park meets your needs.
Kauffman Park is poised to become a jewel of downtown Lakewood. Let’s make it happen, together.
Jason Shachner is currently serving as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Lake County Prosecutor's Offices' Criminal Division. He lives on Cook Ave. with his wife, Michelle, and their 12-year-old shepherd mix, Tessie. He is a candidate for Lakewood City Council Ward 2.