Park Improvement Planning
A public design charrette took place November 26 & 27, 2018 for Paradise Park and the surrounding area. The community was invited to participate in a visioning process for Thomasville’s oldest park. The design workshop explored the park’s use and amenities. It also considered its historical elements and character, such as the prominent azalea lined carriageways, mature trees and historic gazebo.
The consultant, K2 Urban Design, assembled a team of designers and planners who collaborated with charrette participants to analyze the park and the surrounding areas, in the context of its history and proximity to Downtown Thomasville. Issues and concerns as well opportunities for improvement were considered for the park and its neighborhood. [link to see some of the ideas and images produced during the design charrette]
Park Themes: A few key priorities were identified during the public design charrette
- Make some simple improvements to the park as soon as funding is available
- Plan for a multi-purpose, 18-acre park that welcomes everyone
- Slow speeding traffic around the park
- Activate vacant lots, buildings and other parcels around the park
- Improve the walking experience
- Restoration of the gazebo at the center of the park is budgeted and planned for 2020.
- Connecting the Thomasville Community Trail through the park by way of a walking loop is planned and budgeted. A designated route for users to enjoy that encircles the park will meet up with the Trail where it connects at Victoria Place and Colton Ave.
The Weston Park Vision Plan was adopted in 2018 and serves as the guiding document for projects and improvements within Weston Park. The City is in the preliminary phases of implementing the Weston Park Vision Plan and future improvements will be made in alignment with the community’s objectives.
Recent Updates and Planned Improvements
- A lighted 1/3 mile walking trail
- Renovated basketball courts (in partnership with TNB)
- New landscaping including new tress and scrubs
- Renovated picnic areas and new picnic pavilion
- New parking lot
- Restroom improvements
- New and relocated playground equipment
- Water fountain(s)
Construction for Weston Park is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021. For the safety of citizens, areas of the park will be closed and pavilion reservations will be temporarily unavailable to the public as the improvements get underway.
A shade pavilion near the new play equipment is the latest edition to the park. New picnic tables and benches that can be assembled as needed add versatility to seating and gathering. A newly laid 1/3 mile lite walking trail has also been completed.
Recent Updates and Planned Improvements
- New play equipment and a shade pavilion near the new play equipment are the latest editions.
- Fencing to enclose the play area along Broad Street is planned and budgeted.
Cherokee Park has the distinction for being Thomasville’s most visited park. Over the past couple of years a number of improvements and projects have occurred which are listed below:
- A Thomasville Community Trail connection runs along the west side of the Lake with a new trail leading up to Reid Street.
- Due to structural instability the Lake dam structure was rebuilt.
- A number of trees have been planted including live oaks along the street, cypress in the lake, and other native plant groupings of sweetbay magnolia, wax myrtle and saw palmetto.
- Rebuilt boardwalk
- The pond was drained, cleaned, and regraded to improve habitat fish and wildlife. It has been stocked with native species of fish.
- Pedestrian lights have been added along the entire trail.
- New edging around the beds in the adjacent Thomasville Rose Garden.
- A new pavilion and bench made possible in part by a grant from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
- Fencing is planned and budgeted to enclose the three play areas on the east side of the lake.
- A connection across Smith Avenue to connect the Community Trail;
- Continuing the trail along Reid Street to connect to the High School Campus;
- Upgrades to playground safety (fencing);
- And possibly a community food forest.
Attention to MacIntyre Park first began in 2015 when a group of Thomasville City School fifth grade design lab students made a plan for improvements as part of a class project. They noted foot traffic hazards, stream bank deterioration and inadequate play equipment. In 2016, the City secured an award from the Citizens’ Institute for Rural DesignTM to host a 4-day effort to engage the public, current park users and national and local planning experts to construct a vision for this park. The charrette was held October 26-29, 2016 and included more than 300 participants with an interest in charting the course for MacIntyre Park’s future. You can view the master plan for MacIntyre Park here.
- Project was born from a fifth grade design lab class
- Aided by a grant from Citizens’ Institute for Rural DesignTM, a week-long charrette process was hosted by the City to solicit input on the future for the park
- More than 300 participants, including design professionals, education partners, staff and community members participated in the visioning process
- Final master plan includes strengthening the waterways within the park
- Unnamed creeks have been named Sunbeam and Hero Creeks, as voted on by community
- City will create an implementation schedule to take its vision to reality