Ask Rip

Rip RobertsonRip Robertson is the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tucker. He brings to the job years of experience in Parks and Rec, as well as Public Works. Rip is a former Military Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army and is active with the Army Reserve.

Johns Homestead Park parking lot construction.

Happy March, everyone! We’ve got so much going on at the Rec Center, I hardly have space in this column to tell you about it all. Suffice to say, between wrapping up our inaugural youth basketball season and increasing class and activity offerings at Tucker Rec, my staff has been working really hard to make sure your recreation needs are being met. And coming up this month, we have one last hoops hurrah, as we’re proud to be hosting the GRPA Class A 10 and under Boys State Basketball Championship at the Rec Center.

But as the weather is about to warm up, I want to let you know what’s happening in our parks. Specifically, I want to answer a question that I have seen over and over on social media from two different sides of town. People near the Lawrenceville Highway/Montreal Road/I-285 area have seen construction just down the way from Johns Homestead. “What’s going on?” they’re asking.

Similarly, our friends in the Smoke Rise section of Tucker have noticed heavy machinery clearing space along the side of Hugh Howell Road, right near Smoke Rise Park. They have been asking that same question, wondering what’s happening.

If you’ll remember, last year our Mayor and City Council approved funding for a small parking lot to be constructed at both Johns Homestead and Smoke Rise Park. This need was identified in our Parks Master Plan study. One of the aspects of that study was a look at how to help folks get more use out of the parks. For these two particular parks, the answer was simple: give people a place to park. There was no onsite parking and, while Smoke Rise Elementary and Rehoboth Baptist Church were great sports about letting parkgoers park cars in their lots, we couldn’t continue to rely on that.

Your next question is probably, “Great! So, when can I park there?” I’m sure you’re aware of how much rain we’ve gotten this winter. That can really set a construction project back. Fortunately, these parking lots are on schedule to be finished in May, just in time for summer hiking season.

So, as you pass those two parks and see the progress being made, understand that it’s going to make these parks more accessible and increase use of these two great Tucker assets. It’s just another example of the progress we’re making in delivering you the best possible level of service in your city parks.

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