Pickens County’s Roper Park is now the proud home of a completed Phase I of the Rotary Youth Park. Jim Milton, a member of the Rotary Club of Jasper, had an idea to have Rotary Club of Jasper be the leadership to build a Youth Park with walking trails, play areas and beautiful trees. The idea became an actual concept with a plan when Liz Cole, a community leader, donated her time to draw up a concept and construction plans to build the park. From that point Rob Jones, Sole Commissioner for Pickens County, found a space that could be dedicated for use as the Youth Park within the existing Roper Park. The county designated the space and the Rotary Club formed a committee with Jim Milton and Susan Wright as chairs to manage the project and coordinate fund raising needed to build the park. Fred Snell, also a member of Rotary, serves on the committee as well.
The park space is located next to the gravel parking area on the back side of the park next to the soccer fields. The actual plan for the park is broken down into 3 phases. Phase I consists of an oval walking path, a labyrinth, creative play earth berms, 28 trees and huge boulders. Phase II & III will incorporate additional walking trails, trees, picnic pavilion areas, benches, trash receptacles, and playground equipment for both Tots 3-5 years old and then a separate area for 6 year olds plus. The Rotary Club of Jasper intends to engage the community by offering Legacy opportunities that will allow individuals, groups and companies to contribute funds in exchange for receiving a lifetime naming opportunity within the park. Each tree, bench, trash receptacle, picnic pavilion and swing will be offered as legacy opportunities to the community. The funds will then be used to complete Phase II and III.
In 2011, the Rotary Club of Jasper raised enough funds to complete the infrastructure for Phase I. The county, under Rob Jones supervision, has very generously provided man hours and equipment to make the park a reality. Cleve Boutwell, of Boutwell Engineering, donated his time to draw up the grading plans. The county workers graded the area and shaped the park, dug the walkway runs, filled the labyrinth area, placed the boulders, back filled all dirt areas, dug the tree holes and planted the trees. The Youth Park would not be in existence today without the generous help from the County. Bert Lucas of Overdrive Concrete has been a valuable partner in the park in forming and pouring walking paths and the labyrinth curb. He has been generous in going beyond the parameters of his contract. South Scapes delivered materials with no delivery charge and Green Trade Nursery offered trees at a very deep discount to accommodate the building of the park. The building of Phase I has seen extreme generosity on the parts of all involved. Liz Cole has managed the building phase of the project and guided the county crews in all of the necessary tasks. Liz stated, “Working with the county crews has been a wonderful experience. They are great guys, very helpful and quite creative in problem solving. There have been a lot of logistics to work out and they have come through like champs.” Larry Coleman, head of the water department crew that helped on the project has been very responsive and helpful in every way. The entire crew has really performed above and beyond the normal course of duty. Dustin Bone, Supervisor and Phillip Dean, of the crew, took special care to complete the job in a truly quality manner and took active parts in problem solving the logistics needed to set the labyrinth, transport boulders and place the boulders, dig the tree holes, plant the trees, and then backfill all earth and dress the area with grass hydro seeding and straw.
Construction and earth moving actually started the week of December 5th and Phase I of the park was completed on December 16. The Rotary Club of Jasper and Pickens County invites all in the community to visit the park and enjoy its many elements. Rotary members will be diligently working to raise the funds to add benches and trash receptacles as soon as possible.
The Rotary Youth Park is another jewel in our community that will add to the quality of life of all who partake in its assets. The park could not have happened without the considerable support of Rob Jones, Sole Commissioner and his attentive help.
Site Work Team: Boutwell Engineering, Pinnacle Land Surveying Services, Pickens County Water Department, Overdrive Concrete Services, and Green Trade Southscape
Legacy Opportunities within Rotary Youth Park
A lifetime Legacy Opportunity is available to have your name, your family, your company, Your group or service club, loved ones, or memorials, featured in permanent markers within the park that show your support.
Phase I of Rotary Youth Park is completed and in place. The Rotary Club of Jasper is now focusing on building Phase II & Phase III which incorporate more walking trails, trees, benches, picnic pavilions, a tot lot playground and a 6-12 yr old play ground area.
Below are the current ways to receive a Legacy Opportunity:
TREES - A permanent marker will be placed at the base of the tree. - $250
Trash Receptacles - A permanent marker will be placed on the receptacle - $400
Benches - A permanent marker will be placed at the base of the bench - $800
Picnic Table w/benches - A permanent marker will be placed on table - $1,500
Picnic Pavilion Cover - A permanent marker will be placed in a prominent area - $20,000
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