Ask Rip


I want to use my column this month to update you on some of the exciting things happening in Tucker’s Parks and Recreation Department.

The first – and most visible – is the new playgrounds being installed at parks throughout Tucker. Last month, Kelley Cofer Park’s antiquated playground became the first to be dismantled and the first to be replaced with a nice, new playground structure. We’re especially excited about this one as it is wheelchair accessible and has play stations for children with sensory sensitivities. It was important to us and to your City Council to have at least one place where all kids can play regardless of their circumstances. Over the next couple of months, you’ll see new playgrounds installed at Montreal Park, then at Henderson Park and finally at Tucker Recreation Center. We have federal grant money lined up to replace the playground at Peters Park as part of a complete park renovation in the near future. You also may have noticed the playground construction happening at the Community Garden side of Henderson Park. This is a project funded through DeKalb County that is just now coming to fruition.

We want these playgrounds installed and open for use as soon as possible. We know you do, too. So to help us make that happen, I want to ask that you please stay off the new playgrounds until we let you know they’ve officially opened. We had one very excited family who came out to Kelley Cofer Park after the work crews had left for the day and they let their kids play on the structure. Unfortunately, the workers had just poured new concrete footings that were not yet dry. The next day they had to go back and redo all their work, setting the project back and costing the City more money.

We are as excited as you are, so please help us spread the word about these great new playgrounds and that we need to wait to enjoy them.

The other thing I wanted to mention is how proud I am of the Parks and Recreation staff. Last month, we hosted the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) District 6 meeting at Tucker Recreation Center. Recreation professionals from as far away as Macon came here to Tucker for a special awards banquet. I’m happy to report that our Operations Manager Jason Collins and Recreation Leader Crystal Dawson both accepted awards. Jason won the honor for Maintenance/Operations Network Professional of the Year, while Crystal won for Recreation Programming Network Professional of the Year. We also claimed the prize for top Special Event for our July 3 Celebration of Independence and Fireworks Extravaganza. That one was a collaboration between our Communications and Parks and Recreation Departments, but as many of you know, it would not have been possible without generous corporate sponsors and great community partners. The GRPA state awards will be given out on November 6. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how Tucker fares.

Well, that’s enough bragging for now. Make sure to stop by Tucker Rec Center over the coming weeks as we’ve got big plans to help you get into the holiday spirit!

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