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Come out to play

<i>Phil Pfuehler photo</i> River Falls' newest park opened in late October.

Last week the finishing touches were added to land set aside for a local neighborhood park on the city's north side.

Playground equipment was installed at Sterling Ponds Park, corner of Sussex Street and Edenburgh Drive in the Sterling Ponds subdivision just east of Hwy. 35N.

The four-acre Sterling Ponds Park now has a large playing field, sledding hill, sand volleyball court, a half-basketball court, swings, slides and a jungle gym.

Other amenities to be added include a sign, benches, picnic tables, recycling trash container and a bicycle rack.

According to Recreation Coordinator Cindi Danke, there are 23 parks in River Falls, with 19 that are developed.

Three -- Glen, Hoffman and DeSanctis -- are big regional parks, while 10 others, like Sterling Ponds, are neighborhood parks.

Some of the city's other parkland areas include a paved trail, like the White Kinnickinnic Pathway by Lake George, and the wooded hill overlooking Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park that has a network of mountain bike and snowshoe trails.

Land was set aside a few years ago for the Sterling Ponds Park. Parkland is dedicated and built in the city as new subdivisions are created.

Each new development pays an impact fee to the city to finance neighborhood parks and to make improvements at Glen, Hoffman and DeSanctis parks.

Next summer the 10-acre Highview Meadows Park will get playground equipment, trees, benches and more. That neighborhood park is just east of the River Falls Golf Club at the top of the hill off County Road M.

In the near future, Danke said that the new Knollwood subdivision on the city's southeast side will have a furnished neighborhood park.

The city of River Falls operates and maintains 485.40 acres of parks and open parkland spaces.