The Tennessean, May 9, 2008
Three major Gallatin park projects in the works are expected to create walking trails, dedicated play spaces for pets and spruced-up fields for ball games.The city’s first dog park, between the football and softball fields at Triple Creek Park, is beginning to take shape, and the ball fields at Thompson Park are being renovated for the first time since the 1970s.A new city park in the Station Camp area is also on the drawing board.“It’s good to know that the council we have now and the general public is looking ahead,” Gallatin Leisures Services Director David Brown said. “Even though the economy is slow, we’re not just sitting on our thumbs -- we’re moving ahead.”
During a winter trip to Arizona, local resident Jeanette Parker took her dog, Zoie, a Boxer, to visit some dog parks she found there. What she saw convinced her that she would make similar use of such a facility here.“She loved it; she had so much fun,” Parker said, noting that about sixty dogs of various shapes, sizes and breeds socialized while the owners sat under three large pavilions and watched.“It had a huge lake, and the Labs could just dive off in it,” she said. “It was just a great experience for us as well as the dogs. I told my husband the first thing I was going to do when I got home was call David Brown. I think it’s a very positive thing for the city, and we really need it.”The dog park project is expected to cost about $6,000, and improvements will be ongoing until the tentative June 1 opening.
A renovation at Thompson Park, a $40,000 project, primarily involves the two ball fields, which have been resodded and now have new backstops and dugouts. New lighting will also be installed at the park.The Gallatin Kiwanis Babe Ruth League and traveling teams use the two ball fields, but when they aren’t occupied, the public is free to play ball, Brown said.“The city has done an amazing job. You can tell the kids are excited about it. Even though it’s been there for years and years, it gives it a new look,” said Milan Kazar, president of the Babe Ruth League.
Developer Dan Downs offered to donate to Gallatin 40 to 50 acres of land, backing up to Saint Blaise Court and Sugartree Lane, for a city park. The acreage donation has not yet been finalized.“It’s pretty land. Mostly what this park would be is a neighborhood park with trails, picnicking and practice fields,” Brown said. “We’re hoping that proposal will come through.”Downs proposes to donate the parkland and additional acreage for a city safety center with space for a police precinct, fire hall and a satellite city recorder’s office. They would be carved out of a tract he is developing for Hidden Creek, a commercial development with a shopping center and office buildings that planning commissioners will consider May 19.“I think the city is in need of a park in that area,” Downs said. “I’m also donating land for other purposes in that area to include a church, municipal buildings, and have plans to sell at a reduced price, land for a college.”Free Will Baptist Bible College announced Nov. 19 its plans to locate to a Gallatin site, fronting onto Bison Trail to the south and Station Camp Creek to the west. The college announced at that time that contract details could not be disclosed until the contract was finalized and city approvals had been obtained.