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The second Thomasville park to be the focus of a park improvement process will take center stage next week when a three-day visioning session kicks off for Francis Weston Park. Community leaders, City staff and outside design consultants will work together throughout April 23-25, 2017 to finalize a master plan for improving the beloved park located in the heart of the historic Dewey City neighborhood.

“The amount of support we’ve received from the community is incredible,” said Martha Reynolds, Neighborhood Planner. “This neighborhood truly cares about how to best utilize Weston Park. They are very invested in the park’s future.”

The park improvement process began last fall when MacIntyre Park was the focus of a community discussion regarding how to re-imagine the park’s future. Because the process was so successful, an initiative was born to address improvements in additional park properties. Francis Weston Park and Paradise Park will each be the focus of separate planning sessions during 2017.

Community members interested in participating in the discussions about Weston Park’s future are encouraged to help plan their park by attending one of the open house sessions planned next week.

“We will kick off the event with a community input session at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 23rd at the Douglass School Complex,” said Reynolds. “Together, we’ll lead a conversation to look beyond what the park currently is and instead imagine what it could be.”

Tuesday afternoon will feature a drop-in session from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. where the design team will be available for questions. “We encourage park users of all ages to drop in and see how the design is progressing and how their input is helping to shape the final design,” she said. The final design will be presented to the community Tuesday evening, April 25th at 6:30 p.m.

Park users who are not able to attend the workshop sessions have the opportunity to voice their preferences through special display boards that are located throughout the community. “We understand that not everyone will be able to attend the entire three-day event, but everyone will have a chance to choose the features they’d like to see in the park through these visual displays,” she said. Voting for the display board suggestions, which includes areas such as activities, park features and more, is also available online at Thomasville.org/Surveys.

Stephan Thompson, a resident of the Dewey City neighborhood, has been involved in the planning process for the workshop sessions since they began earlier this year. For him, it will be rewarding to see all of the efforts that have gone into the planning pay off with a well-attended open house.

“Being a part of the steering committee for Weston Park improvements has been uplifting and very satisfying for me,” said Thompson. “Too often in many communities, residents do not have a say in what happens to their neighborhood. The City of Thomasville has done an excellent job in garnering participation from residents, and I’m excited about what this means for my community. I hope we have a great turnout for the public input sessions and that the residents of Dewey City join the conversation to help plan for Weston Park improvements.”