Habig Center, Parklands share best kept secret award?

Submitted Photo
Judging from the stacks of papers in front of him, Jasper Park and Rec Director Tom Moorman has a lot of areas he must supervise. This summer has seen an increase in all around park usage, and improvements are continually being considered.


On my last visit to the Habig Senior Citizens Center in Jasper, Renee the receptionist and I were chatting about the center. She called it, “Jasper’s best kept secret.” The Habig Center and the Parklands are both shining examples of how our community has made progress in paying attention to seniors’ needs and the general public with the Parklands. Exercising and meeting other people are essential ingredients to a happy life. The pandemic put a damper on folks getting together, but things are opening up.

If you’re 55 or older and you haven’t visited the Center lately, drop in for a look around. Pick up a brochure with their activities listed and get a monthly schedule. I’ll have more about the Habig later. If you haven’t strolled the Parklands, you’re missing a nice walk with pleasant views. The wildflowers are in full bloom, and people say hello as they pass by. I asked Park and Rec Director Tom Moorman why the upper lake is off limits to fishing, and his reply was the liability issue with folks too close to the waterfalls. My wife and I took a hike there recently and I see his logic. That upper lake looks fishy, but at least for now it’s off limits. The waterfall is beautiful but one can see that someone acting irresponsibly could be at risk for a fall. There are fish in the main pond, and that one’s safe to navigate around.

Director Moorman has been on the job awhile now, and he seems to be getting comfortable. I asked for an update on P and R activities and he sent the following information along:

The Jaycee Park playground “has received a facelift.” Some new equipment has been added as well as some replacement pieces to the main playground structure. Lions Park by the Mill and the Riverwalk are due for some new types of equipment soon.

The pool continues to run without major issues, an “impressive accomplishment by the maintenance staff.” The pools opened in 1956, so the life expectancy of 20-to-25 years for a pool has been exceeded. Work on the pool is largely behind the scenes and unnoticed by the public. What would a new pool look like down the road? Will there be a splash pad or a lazy river? Options are being explored.

Buffalo Trace Golf Course had a record year last year, and this year may surpass that. The back nine has seen some tree removal to open up some of the tight fairways. No. 14 green is still an issue and quotes are being explored to see what might be done to correct the extreme slant. Junior tees have been added to the front nine to assist younger players. “We are considering our options for the possibility of a driving range. The crew out there continues to offer a great golfing experience from the pro shop to the condition of the course.”

Beaver Lake is a “beautiful getaway for folks.” The only true rule change that was made was the cost of a tag for a canoe, kayak, or non-motorized watercraft, reduced from $30 to $10. “We’ve seen a noticeable increase of tags purchased in that category.” The rule about the length of watercraft was always there, but just not enforced.

Bohnert Park pickleball courts should be completed by the end of July. Pickleball is “one of the most popular activities in the past couple of years.” When the courts are completed, some of the courts at Gutzweiler Park should be freed up. This park has frequently had players waiting their turns.

The Older Americans’ Center is “bustling again. It’s great to see folks back at the Habig Center. The activities list continues to grow.” Bingo should be added soon.

The summer programs have seen good participation. The Kamp for Kids program took place in the pool basement instead of the Habig Center because of COVID concerns. “The team did an outstanding job getting the pool basement not only clean but turned into an atmosphere kids thoroughly enjoy. I was impressed with the outcome, especially of a shoestring budget.”

The Spirit of Jasper is back, the first ride took place July 24 with a ride and dine. After a year off, things are on track for the 2021 season. “We have some returning volunteers as well as some new team members. Come down and join the fun.”

Moorman is looking forward to new activities and challenges. “I see them as an opportunity to offer quality of life to our community.”

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