The City of Tucker and the Parks and Recreation Department has several major projects in progress for the upcoming year. As we move into the fall, you will see work at several parks including Johns Homestead, Fitzgerald, Lord, and our new downtown park. All of these projects were previously discussed at public meetings earlier in the year, and we received great community feedback that we have taken into consideration.
The dam replacement/repair and overall renovation of Johns Homestead Park will be our biggest project. This historic park has flooding and severe erosion problems that it is well past time to address. This project will include the complete overhaul of the dams for both lakes, addressing the side channel erosion problems and overall stormwater control. The renovation portion of the project will include improvements with new access points, bridges, boardwalks, and expanded trails. There will also be some additional parking, improvements to the lower lake with fishing access with a dock/pier, and improved environmental habitat with the removal of invasive plants and replacement with native plantings in and around the lakes. The stream flow improvements will assist with downstream flooding issues and restoring some natural areas. All these renovations are listed in our Departments Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Although this project will not address the historic homesite, we are working to begin the process. We have already completed a stabilization of the home and outbuildings to help slow any further deterioration. We will work on a plan and documentation to help restore the homesite and aid in our efforts to include this area on the historic registry and funding opportunities.
Another big project for this coming year is the Fitzgerald Park improvement. The most important update will be to the water/sewer system. The city signed a contract with Helix Group to complete this vital project and we hope to restore full service to the park by the end of the year. We will also be upgrading the field turf, lighting, and facilities to help our youth athletics programs continue to grow. These improvements will ensure the city’s sports complex will provide a safe playing environment for our participants. We received feedback from the Fitzgerald Park community meeting to add walking trails and better pedestrian access which will be included in our final plans.
After signing a design contract with Barge Design, the Department began the planning process for a new downtown park by presenting information at the Council work session in June. That was followed by visits to other downtown parks and gathering feedback from our officials. The next step was to host a community meeting to gather feedback from the community and businesses to help develop this exciting new amenity in our downtown. The park will include many new features and will be the focal point of events and activities in the downtown area. We are excited to move to our next step with a presentation to Mayor and Council in September with the first renderings of the possibilities. You can get the schedule for this presentation on our website.
Also coming up are some much-needed improvements to our tennis facility at Rosenfeld Park. These courts have a runoff issue that affects the courts and creates cracks and bubbles in the playing surface. We are working on solutions to this and will host a community meeting for this park soon. We have worked hard to create a fun and exciting park in this community and hope to get further feedback as we continue to add and upgrade this area.