The Hugo Lions think it is about time to recognize a Hugo resident who was instrumental in the city paying attention to its park system.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, June 9, the Hugo Lions and city officials will hold a dedication ceremony in Lions Park for Kathryn (Kathy) Marier. Marier was the first chair of the Parks Commission and served from 1998 until 2004, when she passed away at the age of 46.
“The city was starting to grow, and the playground equipment that was available at the time was an A-frame for two swings with one swing on it and a base for a teeter-totter with no teeter-totter. That was it,” said former Parks Commission member Pete Pedersen.
As a resident who wanted to see a change, she approached the City Council and convinced them to start making parks a priority.
“She was really the spark plug that brought up this whole idea of parks, the Parks Commission and the idea of working with developers to provide either money or land for parks (with new developments) and the Parks Commission,” Pedersen recalled.
The City Council tasked Marier with forming a committee of citizens to review the city’s park system. The council also hired an outside firm to conduct neighborhood meetings that were well attended. Eventually, a parks plan was developed and the Parks Commission was formed.
“The city really started to put some teeth and creative thinking behind what was needed for parks,” Pedersen said. “The Lions Club decided it was time to recognize the dedication of Kathy Marier to the city and the Parks Commission.”
A boulder with a plaque honoring Marier will sit at Lions Park, the park she was very instrumental in improving. Under Marier’s leadership, the group of around 30 volunteers selected new playground equipment and was able to not only mobilize equipment at Lions Park but install it as a community-build project with the help of volunteers and city employees. The equipment lasted 20 years before it was replaced last fall by the same company that furnished it the first time around — St. Croix Recreation.