Major Renovation Underway Of Shelter House At A Heavily Used Park In Milford

Tue 5-5-2020

(Milford)-- An amenity at a heavily visited park in Milford is getting a major renovation.

Ground was recently broken on the expansion of the shelter house at Florence Park. Florence Park Committee member Susan Reiser says the idea for the project came about during Milford's Quasquicentennial celebration several years ago when the Milford Commercial Club started looking at ideas to earmark some $46,000 that was raised. Since then, Reiser says $116,913 was raised through donations and grants for the project...Florence Park Project01 

"The project entails a 30 by 35 foot addition to the south end of Florence Park. It will be heated and air conditioned; it will have restrooms which will be very nice for older persons using the facility. Right now they have to trek down like a half a block, fourth of a block, whatever it is, to the bathroom on the other side of the property. So it will be nice that there will be restrooms inside this new facility. A kitchenette, we have some concerns for food safety, people bringing in food to eat for picnics and stuff and no place to wash their hands or sanitize things so we've taken care of that aspect; and it will provide additional seating. It can now be used as a year around facility so it will be a great asset to the city of Milford."

Reiser adds Florence Park has some historic significance to it...Florence Park Project02 

"John Guthrie and his wife Phoebe conveyed it to the city back in the 1800's and it started being used as a park or was just set aside as a park, and then it was named after, in 1913 it was named Florence Park in memory of his daughter, Florence Fuller Guthrie who died at that time, I'm not sure what the circumstances were, but so that's how it became known as Florence Park and it's kind of in the middle of the city, a lot of activities besides family reunions and class reunions. It's the site of most of the Pioneer Days events every year; the Okoboji Classic Bike Ride uses it; the Tractor Ride Around West Lake always start there. It's just known as the park. There's a lot of wonderful playground equipment that the Park Department has put in over all these years. It's a very versatile park and thousands use it every year."

Local contractors are working on the $110,000 project, slated for completion later this summer.

Funding for the project includes $46,463.85 from the Milford Commercial Club; $25,000 from the city of Milford; $15,000 from the Milford Parks Board; $10,000 from a grant from the Okoboji Foundation's Youth In Philanthropy program; $5,000 each from Farmer's Savings Bank, Northwest Bank and United Community Bank; $2,000 from Waste Management; a $1,500 grant from Black Hills Energy; $750 from Sam Wedeking in memory of Roy Wintz; and $500 each from the Campus Women's Club and the Milford American Legion.