Cherokee Lake Park
Why are Improvements Needed at Cherokee Lake Park?
Because of some future structural and possible safety issues with the park dam, the City of Thomasville would like to be proactive and address these concerns before they become an issue. The timing of the dam repair is ideal to address some other issues in the park, including repairing the boardwalk/walking trail, widening the path on the west side to connect to the Community Trail that will cross from Smith Avenue at Susie Way, cleaning up the north end of the lake, and improving fish habitats.
The City of Thomasville has also engaged an arborist to advise us on the tree population in the park; specifically, which trees are diseased and/or damaged and need to be removed. This information will be used as we look at how and where the trail can be improved so that the impact to healthy trees is minimized.
Because of the work involved, the lake will be drained and wildlife will be relocated. The walking paths will also be closed in portions of the park as well.
These improvement projects are planned to begin June 2017 and be completed by Spring 2018.
January 2018 –
January 31st update – While portions of the lake remain closed, we wanted to share some pictures of the improvements that are being completed now. In a week or so, you will begin to see a lot of more movement and progress as we begin work on the lake itself. We are also happy to announce that restroom renovations have been added to the scope of work and should be completed in April. The playground and pavilions remain open to the public.
Construction begins at Cherokee Lake Park on January 2, 2018 and should be completed in May 2018. Unfortunately, portions of the lake that are inside the construction zone will be unavailable for public access. To ensure public safety, the work area will be closed off to the public as indicated on the map pictured below. The areas outlined in red, including walkways, entry points and surrounding structures, will be closed during the construction phase of the project. This will specifically include the two entries from adjoining neighborhoods and two boardwalk entries.
Portions of the park will remain open during construction. Open areas will include the east side of the park, the pavilions and playground structures. The lake bed is also closed to public access.
- October 2017 – the City of Thomasville partnered with Hands on Thomas County volunteers to clean-up around the lake. Because of the draining of the lake, volunteers were able to remove debris from the lake bed, finding some interesting treasures! (click images to enlarge)
- August 2017 – Cherokee Lake has been draining and is now at about 70% capacity. Plans are in the works to organize a park clean-up, including portions of the lake bed, in conjunction with Hands on Thomas County Day later this Fall. Closed signs have been placed along the banks of Cherokee Lake. Please know that this refers to people walking into the lake bed areas. The lake is still open for fishing! The geese were relocated for their own safety with assistance from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. DNR has assured us that once the lake is refilled and construction ends, the natural tendencies of the geese will bring a new flock to the park that will make it their home. Click here for a video update.
Learn more about the Cherokee Lake Park project by participating in these community events:
Event: Community Walks
When: September 26 @ 5:30 pm and September 28 @ 7:30 am
Join City staff and project engineers to hear more about why the repairs are necessary and how we will return an improved park to our community!