Seeding at Veterans Memorial Park is nearing completion, and the park area will then be off limits for up to a year.

City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann Monday told members of the personnel, finance and public works committee that the grading has been completed, and seeding should be complete within the next week.

“We are very close to being done,” he said.

There are gravel roads in place where future paved roads will be located in the park.

Zimmermann noted that the property entrance will be blocked off with concrete barriers.

“We want to keep people off the property,” he said.

Zimmermann explained that people will not be allowed on the property for nine to 12 months until the grass takes root.

Park Work

Phase 1 of the park project consisted of excavation and mass grading for two soccer fields, one football field, five baseball/softball fields, two ponds and various support infrastructure.

When completed the park will be a full-service facility with concession stands, bleachers, restrooms, and other amenities, which will support sporting events, including walking trails, playgrounds, wetlands and other passive park features.

There is about 100,000 cubic yards of earthwork, and the grading plan includes 24-foot-wide roads. Seeding is expected to be completed in early October.

SWT Design of St. Louis provided the original conceptual plan and master planning for this project. Cochran of Union is providing civil engineering, inspection/testing and construction administrative services.

Park Design

The park was planned to meet the growing needs of youth sports leagues in the Union area.

In the plans are marshlands and water sources to be utilized as a conservation area, or passive park, as well as picnic areas and shelters.

There also are playgrounds, a maintenance shed, lakes or ponds, pavilions and other amenities, including a “loop trail” intertwined with smaller trails.

SWT Design utilized requests and demographics to determine the city’s parks needs that could be met at the east park location.

Elected city officials, city staff, members of the east park development committee and Franklin County youth sports leaders submitted requests to SWT Design of what they would like to see included in the park.

East Park History

A group called the Franklin County Youth Sports Organization (FCYSO) was the initial driving force in the push for more sports fields to support the growing number of children who participate in baseball, softball, soccer and football.

The city purchased the land earmarked for a park, and the FCYSO later disbanded.

A city east park development committee formed, which included members of the FCYSO, sports organization heads and parks and recreation advisory board members.