BARLOW PARK’S LARGEST shelter appears attractive from the outside. Inside, not so much. 
										                 Tim Lyke photo
BARLOW PARK’S LARGEST shelter appears attractive from the outside. Inside, not so much. Tim Lyke photo

     Ripon’s Park & Recreation Committee entertained several ideas Feb. 20 on how Ripon might best spend the $484,000 windfall left to the city by the estate of Lloyd D. Mitchell.

     One concept rose above the rest: A new Barlow Park shelter. ...

     Still handsome from the outside, the building’s interior is dark and cold while its bathrooms appear “original,” to put it charitably.

     Located in one of Ripon’s most popular parks, the shelter house is an important addition to Cookie Daze, family picnics, baseball tournaments and other special events. But it could become more than a weekend-only facility were the city to use the Mitchell gift to create a more inviting, user-friendly facility — perhaps that could be filled year-around.

     It could serve as Ripon’s new senior center during the day, when local children are in school for nine months out of the year, while being shared by community groups of all ages during the summer.

     Barlow Park would still have its south park shelter and the Riponfest pavilion.

     But the current shelter, which houses 16 tables that seat 125, could be replaced with a larger community center providing meeting rooms, a larger kitchen, updated bathrooms — just a more inviting ambiance.  ...

— Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the March 7, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.