We recently just published an article about the most popular parks and recreation areas in Mason City, that’s great but recently it has come to my attention that you’re quite limited on what you can do. Some you’re not able to play ball games, ridiculous we thought, however no it is true and something we’re trying to combat.
I got shown an article about a metal detector enthusiast from my friend Richard from metaldetectordirect.com about a man who was trying to fight for the rights to go metal detecting in these parks.
He took a bag of his finds with him to show them, he left empty handed. They actually seized his findings as it wasn’t legal for him to search within 3 feet of a previously disturbed area.
City Planner Tricia Sandahl informed board members in a memo that provisions of the flood buyout grants for the East Park area include “protection of archaeological remains.”
She said, “We’re not allowed to disturb the ground within three feet of a previously disturbed area like a building foundation, sidewalk, etc.”
She said the requirements are permanent unless the city receives specific permission to move dirt. “It would be inappropriate for people to be out metal detecting on the buyout lots,” said Sandahl.
Sayles came to the Park Board’s Tuesday meeting after a park official stopped him recently from metal detecting in East Park. Sayles was furious.
He wrote a letter to the Park Board saying he was treated rudely adding, “I have been metal detecting in Mason City’s parks for years, welcomed and greeted by citizens and police and even park workers many times.
“I know that city code nor any ordinances are in effect that prohibits this useful hobby, nor should there be.”
He came to the Park Board seeking clarification.
In a separate memo to the Park Board, Street Superintendent Bob Berggren said two sections of a city ordinance come into play. One says no one “shall deface or injure any building, tree, shrub or plant or other improvements” in the parks.
You can see from the snippet above that it isn’t a widely known rule, luckily my friend doesn’t live in Mason city otherwise he’d have to seriously consider where he goes! But what is your opinion on this? We can’t personally see a problem with it, providing the detectors are responsible and put the ground back. We could understand if they didn’t want people to do it out of fear of damaging the parks but not what they’ve said.