ST. JOSEPH -- A preliminary picture is starting to come together for what the future of East Park may look like on the south side of St. Joseph.

The city has been working with engineers to come up with some designs for future trails, a boat landing and forested areas. Mayor Rick Schultz says their goal is for the park to remain as close to natural as possible.

"East Park will remain natural. It'll be a natural walking area, trees, forest, grasslands, use river as it is -- with non-motorized boats -- just leave it as it is in a way."

The city had included a bonding request of $300,000 earlier this year as the state was distributing bonding money. However, Schultz says while it'd be nice to have some state help, the city is able to handle developing the park on its own.

"It is on our bonding list, we asked for $300,000 for design and build-out of a portion of the park -- that [the bonding] didn't cover nearly the whole thing -- so we're not dependent on bonding. We dedicate some of the money out of the half-cent sales tax to do it."

The land for the park is currently leased out, once it's back in city hands after the harvest, the city says they'd gain money, as they currently pay more on the parcel, than they collect from the lease.

Schultz says while it's early for a project this size -- around 90-acres -- the city would expect it to take five to ten years start to finish. However, the city does hope to start some reforestation before the end of this year.

Everything is in very early stages for the project. For now, St. Joesph is looking for more public input. They'll be holding a meeting on September 24 at 6:00 p.m.

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