City kicks off new year with work at Riverside Park

Published 3:19 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

With freezing temperatures welcoming the public for the new year, staff with the City of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department have been busy giving one popular park a facelift for the spring season.
The Parks & Rec maintenance staff was busy putting a platform in place at Riverside Park Tuesday afternoon, just one of the different pieces currently being constructed at the location as part of a renovation project through the department.
Outfitted with new equipment, workers were able to construct a platform that will be used for equipment geared for children ages two to five years old. The new equipment will have a little bit of something for everyone, with a new jungle gym, slide, swings and other amenities.
David McQueen, maintenance supervisor for Parks & Rec, stated the project will be good for the warmer weather and that staff has been hard at work getting the park ready.
“This time of year, it is so difficult to work outside, but the maintenance staff continues to find ways to be resourceful,” said Parks & Rec Director Mike Mains. “This equipment is being put together inside the maintenance facility then being placed. David McQueen and his staff continue to come through to save the city money and provide a great service.”
Riverside Park is one of the most scenic parks in the city, being nestled between Watauga Lake and Joe O’Brien Field. The 6.8-acre park is also located along the Elizabethton Linear Path.
While park staff worked at the playground, inmates with the Carter County Work Camp CS 12 group were busy Tuesday on the trail removing unnecessary foliage.
“We appreciate Ernie Holt’s brush crew from the Carter County Work Camp. They’re trimming along the riverside edge of the linear trail and that’s the first time, in my career, that you’re able to see the water from this side of the park,” McQueen said. “It’s been cold but they’ve been out here each day this week. This only helps show more of the linear trail.”
McQueen added the removal of brush allows more traffic to happen on the trail, whether it’s people wanting to admire the river or fishermen looking to find that ideal spot to reel in some game.
Mains added individuals can secure a part of the Trail for the Parks & Rec’s “Adopt-A-Spot,” a project underway that allows an individual, business or community organization to dedicate a part of the trail with either a bench, garden or another type of icon. Parks & Rec’s first spot was placed on the linear trail near Lowe’s to honor the life of the late Camryn Case.
Along with commending McQueen’s staff and the work camp, Mains also thanked City Council for their support of the project.
“This is another project they’ve approved and it is so exciting to see the support of recreation in the city,” Mains said. “We’re just here to serve and any time we receive additional funding, we want to make sure the public gets the best use of it. I hope the citizens can see what is taking place in this department.”
Another project set to start soon is the installation of a new splash pad at Franklin Pool. Crews are expected to be on site in the coming days, according to Mains.

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