Meridian’s third regional park has confirmed its opening date.
Discovery Park opens to the public July 27. The first phase of the park, on the south side of Lake Hazel Road between Locust Grove and Eagle Roads, is 27 acres. Discovery Park will be 77 acres at full build-out.
“Discovery” is the theme of the park, which manifests itself in the park’s emphasis on “hands-on, experiential play,” said Steve Siddoway, director of the Meridian Parks and Recreation Department. Parts of that experiential play include a 9-foot climbing wall with the topography of Idaho.
“It’s a 3D map that you can climb,” said Siddoway.”The mountains become handholds and the valleys become foodholds.”
There will also be a sand and water play area — teaching children about hydrology. The playground will have panels with mammals, natural resources and minerals.
Along with the playground there will also be dual ziplines, three picnic shelters, splash pad, two softball fields, a stage, a restroom and concessions building. The park will have a 1.2-acre off-leash dog area with double entry gates for safe leashing, separate areas for large and small dogs and a drinking fountain for people and dogs
It will have a shade shelters, benches and picnic tables. It will be free to visit, open daily from dawn until dusk. There are walking paths and interpretive gardens such as a pollinator garden, a firewise garden and a garden featuring low water use plants.
The total cost of phase one was $8.3 million. The construction of the rest of the park is largely depend on the results of the current impact fee study and the availability of future funding, said Siddoway. The Meridian Parks and Recreation Department will be asking for the funding to design phase two of Discovery Park during this year’s city budget hearings in June and July.
One of the goals for the Discovery Park is to bring a regional park to south Meridian. Regional parks, like Settlers Park and Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, are designed to serve larger groups and community-wide events.