Carter County dedicates new Green Bridge Landing Park

Residents of Carter County gathered at the new Green Bridge Park across from Hampton High School Sunday afternoon, celebrating the completion of a two-year transformation of the area.

Carter County Parks and Recreation Director Ken Gough said the results of the park’s completion are incredible.

“It is jaw-dropping,” Gough said. “This was a trash dump, and look at it today.”

He said this “pocket park” is a core component of the department’s goals for the community. If the community requests a park, he said it is their job to figure out how to get one.

The new park features a walking trail (seven laps to the mile) that follows the Doe River north, as well as special bird feeders.

Gough had a laundry list of people to thank for the result, including the HHS Horticulture class, who he said made the actual trail.

“They are going to use the park as an outdoor lab,” he said.

The land originally belonged to the Carter County School Board, though Gough said the board ultimately realized they had no use for the property.

To the County Commission, Gough said thank you.

“We have put your money to good use,” he said.

He said the $9,498.28 park should bring in roughly $100,000 to the county, a significant return on an investment that is still ongoing.

“This is Phase One,” he said.

The next step, he said, is to possibly put in a playground near the entrance to the park to allow families to gather and spend time with each other, potentially next spring.

“You are going to see this park get better and better,” Gough said. “Thank you for believing in us.”

County Mayor Russell Barnett said the hundreds of volunteer hours made the difference.

“Volunteer help is what is really important,” Barnett said.

Gough said volunteers, particularly those from Chris Schuettler’s Planning Department, worked hard to make the park a reality.

“They started when it was really hot and really dry,” Gough said.

Between this and Phase Two, Gough said they are always looking for their next park. Anyone from the community can come to the county parks and recreation board and pitch an idea for a future park.

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