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Imagining a Barber Park with lots of shade and a splash pad

OLIVIA BIGNER is a first year master’s student in landscape architecture who created a landscape design for Barber Park. She is shown here discussing the proposal with Grady County Recreation Department Director Becky Bracewell, right.

Encouraging people to get active to improve their health is a major goal established by a group of local people interested in health issues that affect Grady County. The group meets monthly as an Issue Work Group of the Grady County Archway Partnership.
Earlier this summer, the group met with students from University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design and asked them to use Grady County’s Barber Park as a launching pad for a design of an ideal park for recreation.
Olivia Bigner, a first year master’s student in landscape architecture, presented her ideas to Grady County Commissioners and the Health and Wellness Issue Work Group on Thursday, July 18.
From the conference room at Barber Park the currently sweltering baseball fields could be seen through the room’s windows as Bigner presented her design of a recreation park with tree shaded areas for sports fans, access to the park from Highway 111 N., and a landscaped common area that included a new office for recreation department staff plus outdoor basketball courts, picnic tables and splash pad.
“Get a vision and get people talking. That’s how you start,” said LaDon Toole, administrator of Grady General Hospital and chairman of the issue work group,”There’s a lot of positive energy happening and a lot of good things happening with Archway. A lot of people are coming together.”
Toole thanked the commissioners for attending, and said he hoped they would consider some of the ideas Bigner provided.
Other students on hand included Craig Biesecker, a graduate assistant in the College of Environment and Design; Jeremy Arnett, a summer intern working in Moultrie for the College of Environment and Design; and Alexander Newell a graduate student and Archway intern putting together a historical walking tour for Cairo.
County commissioners expressed interest in elements of the park plan and said it could serve for a roadmap for future development of the park.

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