Baird Park Master Plan
The City of Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department chose IMEG to assist in developing a nature area plan for Baird Park. The Baird Park nature area plan enhances existing features to guide visitors through the landscape. The plan utilizes the landscape features of a wetland, uplands, and sledding hill. A trail system meandering through the park connects all of its landscape features. Baird Park’s future will provide both educational and recreational activities for all. The restoration of the native prairie habits of 100-plus years ago will provide a glimpse into the past.
IMEG advised the city on alternative maintenance practices that would enhance native prairie vegetation. Native trees selection was based on eastern South Dakota species’ ability to tolerate conditions of saturated soils or periodic flooding or drier conditions. The recreational area would turn away from the eastern South Dakota native tree theme to tree species found in the Black Hills area. The tree locations on the hill would focus on screening views, wind protection, and collecting snow for sledding in the recreational area.
The trail system will consist of a main trail along the perimeter with internal loops to allow for different routes and distances. The plan also identifies wayside areas to highlight various natural features or views. Both paved and mowed paths will be created, allowing users to select the type of desired experience. The perimeter trail will be the formal paved trail for walking, running, and bicycling. The mowed paths will be in the prairie habitats, allowing the users more direct contact with native habitats.