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Downtown Park to Cost Approximately $32,000

Dacula City Council unanimously approved park improvements, mutual assistance agreement.

Dacula's new downtown park will soon have a few additional features.

The Dacula City Council unanimously approved the expenditure of up to $10,000 to construct a retaining wall, do additional site leveling and install landscaping on the grounds around the . The gazebo, sidewalks, amphitheater seating and the new improvements are expected to cost a total of approximately $32,000, all of which will be funded through SPLOST.

The park has not yet been named, but Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks said he hopes to have a name selected by Memorial Day.

"We have asked for names," Wilbanks said. He asked that residents send suggestions for naming the new park to mayordacula@att.net and added that he has also  in his effort to create a list of appropriate name choices. 

In an , Wilbanks explained the significance of the park and why the name is important.

"Our new downtown urban park connects us to the past. It helps recall those public areas that were used in the past and are now gone and brings to the future opportunities to mingle, meet, greet, argue, engage in world-changing activities, and, sometimes, to just get away from the work-a-day world," Wilbanks wrote. "The yet-to-be-named park reminds us of our past and the folks who went about their daily lives and helped make the Dacula of the past into the Dacula which will be our future."

In other business, council also unanimously approved the new Georgia Emergency Management Agency statewide mutual aid and assistance agreement. The agreement, which will run through 2016, provides financial assistance to participating governments in the event of an official declaration of a natural or manmade disaster. 

M.K. OSBORNE April 06, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Resilience Park
M.K. OSBORNE April 06, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Cynthia , Its like " The Voice" , brilliant ! Bravo !
Cynthia Montgomery April 06, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Mr K, are you saying that they have designed a park that does not have a central focus? Does this park not have the ability to have a viewing "stage?" There goes the Wedding business! SOmeone that has seen this park please educate me? The last time I was downtown only the gazebo was in place. Anybody else been down there to know if this view is correct. Do the stair step seats face the road instead of the "stage" gazebo? Just asking?
Diane April 06, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Well if the gazeba is at the highest point of this land, then wouldn't it be that the seating would go down with the slope of the land................... Didn't know we were doing this for someone's wedding planning business
Jimmy Wilbanks April 06, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Yep, the gazebo is the highest point. So the design is to allow for multiple uses of the park. Amphitheater seating is tiered from lowest to highest so for example on a movie night the screen would be positioned near the center of the walk from 2nd Avenue. Or a portable stage for music or a play could also be in the are. The grassy areas between the seating areas could be used for an small event inside the gazebo. The gazebo can also be used as a projection point or an out-of-the weather area for sound equipment and the like. I never considered a big event inside the gazebo. It is probably not big enough.
Kristi Reed (Editor) April 06, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I just changed the featured photo to show the view from the gazebo and the amphitheater seating. There is a nice grassy area that will be in view of anyone using the seating.
Cynthia Montgomery April 06, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Diane, if you are to have any event, (including a wedding- just for example) a political event, celebration or what ever, why would you have the seating facing away from the major location of the event? If you look at Duluth, Suwannee, or even the fountains at Olympic Park all the seating is pointing TOWARDS the major " stage" building." With you comment, I assume that the seating is indeed facing away from the gazebo. So, what are we facing with these seats? Is there a FINISHED PROJECT somewhere? Are we just looking at what we have paid for and then the developer comes back and says, "HEY HOW ABOUT THIS?" I can not believe the city leaders are just winging this piece meal development of this park. Don't get me wrong, I love the park but is there an over all plan? Are we just adding something new after the last project is done so as to not have anyone be outraged by the final price? It is easier to swallow $10,000 bites at a time? Does anyone know if there is a completed overall projected look to the park? I heard that once there was talk of bringing in a "stage" on, a say flat bed truck, for events . If that is in the future, then I can see why the seating is facing away from the gazebo (due to size/space of land). Diane have you ever been over to the Duluth or Suwanee City Parks for a wedding-BEAUTIFUL! The seating, like Stone Mountain's grassy seating is FACING the major structure, the mountain, as is the same at Duluth and Suwanee. Just asking!
Cynthia Montgomery April 06, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Thanks Mayor for that description. I thought I had heard of bringing in a 'stage" for events. I look forward to seeing how much this area park will add to the experience of being from Dacula. Looking forward to seeing what the city has planned for the Memorial Day Celebration this year. I know it will be a restful place for the festival goers to sit and relax during the festival. I can see it also being a wonderful place for photographers to get some great shots at the gazebo. Do we have anything planned, in terms of music for Memorial Day? Saw the meeting on video and wonder if the cost of the retaining wall is necessary or if we could save that money for a future item? Will that wall be torn down in the future?
Diane April 06, 2012 at 06:16 PM
If the gazebo is at the top, would you have them build a stadium facing the gazebo? The land is sloped down, so....................................... At stone mtn the seating is at the top, so............................................ Do the math
Cynthia Montgomery April 06, 2012 at 07:57 PM
DUH...Diane! The last gazebo the city had built was used each Memorial Day as a "stage' for the center of the action. It was where the singers performed. It was were announcements were made. SOOOOO now the Gazebo is for.............. and the seating faces................? The bridge to nowhere and now the seating to ............? I am doing the math but it is evident you are MISSING the point of the comments. Say Diane, if the gazebo is the main attraction at our new park........where is the attention directed from those sitting in the new seating? If the mountain is the main attraction would it not follow that the seating should be facing the mountain....and if A then B....in terms to our park also. I am saying without anything else on the drawing board for this park, the lay of the land was poorly used in the planning. That is WHY I asked if there was another" park part" on the drawing board. After the mayor's response I assume that the ribbon cutting will be down by the street, not at the gazebo, as ALL WILL BE FACING THE STREET! I will say I am glad the city did NOT pay thousands for that little green corner. It would have been used against everyone of them politically, if they had paid the seller's asking price last year. What was it $74,000 for less than of 10th of an acre? SO with that said Diane, I will move on to a more interesting day!
Karo April 06, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I love the Gazebo and I love the concept of having a park in town; but frankly, it looks backwards to have the seating facing the railroad tracks despite the explanation for it. Carol
M.K. OSBORNE April 06, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Oh well , Mr Mayor im sure your used to the dang if you do and dang if you dont part of the job . Its a great addition to Historic Downtown Dacula and will compliment the area. Good Job Mayor !
M.K. OSBORNE April 06, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Cynthia , They got it right . The Gazebo is a focal point perched on top and will be great for projection or sound area . The bottom is the stage area kinda like a football stadium . But you can still do the voice thing there also ! Ha Ha Ha
Kristi Reed (Editor) April 06, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Kevin - I'm all for the Voice thing if we can get Adam Levine and Blake Shelton to the park!! Cee Lo and Christina can come too.
M.K. OSBORNE April 06, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I like how it faces the railroad tracks so i can sit in the shade and sip on some sweet tea while i watch the trains go by .
North Georgia Weather April 07, 2012 at 10:55 AM
This is very amusing and entertaining! Who needs a gazebo with all of this talk! :-))
Jimmy Orr April 07, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Kevin, how are you doing? The late, great Jimmie Rodgers use to sing a song with words that went something like this, "Standing around the water tank, waiting on a train/I'm a thousand miles from nowhere waiting out in the rain." Maybe you can paraphrase this song and sing, "Sitting at gazebo waiting on a train/Sipping on my sweet tea waiting for the CSX to go by." Can you yodel? BTW, type Jimmie Rodgers in your search engine and you can pull up and hear the original recording of this song which was made back in the 30's. Wishing you and yours a Happy Easter.
Diane April 07, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Would like to suggest the name Chinquapin Grove Park. Chinquapin Grove was name of town before Dacula.
Diane April 07, 2012 at 01:29 PM
My husband has chinquapin trees he would be glad to plant in the park if named this.
Jimmy Orr April 07, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Diane, good morning & Easter greetings. The offer of chinquapin trees is a generous offer plus I like the name Chinquapin Grove Park. There is something tranquil about that name which would give meaning to the gazebo being a place of quite and peace. If the offer should stand, tell your husband I will help him plant the trees.
Cynthia Montgomery April 07, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Using a historical event is one of the ways a park can get their names along with a person of historical importance and natural landmark. WIth the name Chinquapin Grove, we would be using two of the 3 popular way to name a park. First the natural landmark would be the grove of trees and second would be the historical event as mentioned by Diane, as we were once named this suggestion. I have never heard about Chinquapin Grove. It was not listed on the google history of Dacula. Is there a site where we can find out about this name. Also Diane, is there a picture of the tree you speak about? Does this tree flower in the spring? Does it have a bright color in the fall? Is there any place where we can see this tree around town? Do you have some in your yard or on some property some where? I hope it flowers in the spring and colors beautifully in the fall. This should be a park for all seasons. Jimmy I also like the feeling of a tranquil place to sit and watch the train go by with a date, a grandchild, or a paintbrush and paper! Kristi, is there going to be a list of names the city id considering for the public to see posted on the PATCH?
Jimmy Orr April 07, 2012 at 04:41 PM
The chinquapin (or chinkapin) is an oak in the white oak group and is native to eastern and central North America. I will have to defer to Diane on this but as I understand it, the tree flowers from April to late May and has an acorn or nut which ripens in September or October and is eatable by roasting. Once again, I will have to defer to Diane with respect to the generous offer she and her husband have made and that is there is a dwarf species of the chinquapin tree. Like Cynthia states, the park should be a park for all seasons. The chinquapin meets this criteria. It is a tree for all seasons.
M.K. OSBORNE April 07, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Hi Jimmy , Might have to get some Boxcar Willie songs too . I hope you are doing well also . I like the Chinquapin Grove , sounds like the Native Indians named it even though it is a tree .Grove is a great word for that plot also. The Gazebo at Chinquapin Grove , Has a nice ring to it !
Cynthia Montgomery April 07, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Being born in Ohio I am well versed with the trees that my Grandfather used to refer to as "DIRTY." "Now, you don't want that tree near the house, it is DIRTY!" he would say. Ohio is know as the buckeye state for the Buckeye trees growing there. Buckeyes are brown smooth nuts that are shed by their trees each season that have what appears to be a eye on one side of the nut. Buckeyes are fun to gather in the woods but a pain in the neck to keep clean in a park or near a house. They are a dirty tree. Moving down south I found a tree that causes just as much trouble as a buckeye tree. Maybe you have one in your yard, Maybe you have cut them all down due to their dirty nature. Our house in Dacula had three large SweetGum trees. NOW THAT IS A DIRTY TREE! Every year I would give any neighborhood child a free trip to the Dairy Queen if they would fill up a paper grocery bag with the tree's sticky, pokey, dirty gum balls! You had to pick up the gum balls dropped by the tree wearing gloves, because they were dangerous. If you stepped on one getting in our out of the car, walking to the mailbox, or getting the kids off the bus your foot would slide out from beneath you and if you did not fall, at the very lease you sprained a tendon. After taking two trees down due to their dropping of gum balls each year, I would be hesitant to suggest we plant any tree that drops nuts or gum balls in season. I would also suggest we do not plant trees that shed each year either. BELOW
Kristi Reed (Editor) April 07, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Hi Cynthia - Mayor Wilbanks has asked that people send suggestions for park names to mayordacula@att.net. At last week's meeting, he said they hope to have a name chosen by Memorial Day which means they will need to vote at the May council meeting. I do not know if the list of potential names will be published.
Cynthia Montgomery April 07, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Kristi, Thank you for the info, I hope the Mayor will have great names for consideration. I look forward to the Memorial Day parade and celebration.
Cynthia Montgomery April 07, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Sitting on that grassy green lawn sprinkled with sharp cracked open nuts or prickly droppings does not make sense unless we have a plenty of neighborhood children to pick up the droppings each year. Please...No grass killing Pin Oaks, no dirty branch dropping weeping willows and no nut bearing chinquapins, and no gum ball dropping trees for this park is my vote. Can we ask UGA 's Horticulture College which trees would supply flowers in the spring, shade in the summer, color in the fall and winterscapes when the cold comes in. There are professionals that do this for a living. A grassy seating area covered in nuts is just as bad as slipping on a cracked open nut on the sidewalk slanted downwards towards the road. Love the idea but hate the reality of it.
Jimmy Orr April 09, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Cyhthia, good morning! While I'm thinking about it, if my photo in Patch looked as good as your photo I would be in Hollywood this morning. Also, I am going to stick with the name Chinquapin Grove Park for the peaceful tranqulity the name transmits. A couple of things about the chinquapin trees though. I still am of the opinion that Diane's husband's generous offer of chinquapin trees would be of the dwarf variety. Even if they were the full grown variety it would probably be 100 years before they reached maturity. By that time we along with the gazebo would be like that fellow who use to return punts for LSU. Cannot remember his name but when he caught the football, he was "Long Gone." That would be us.....long gone. I like your idea about seeking advice from a pro so to speak but, we don't have to go to UGA. Them folks at UGA don't know nothing about horticukture except hedges like in "Between the Hedges." Good news though. Gwinnett has a home grown expert in one Timothy (Tim) Daly who is the Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent with Gwinnett County Cooperative Extension. Tim's column appears in the Gwinnett Daily Post. He knows his stuff as I have consulted with him on everything from grass, weeds, trees, snakes, and everything in between. I believe TIM is a UGA graduate so he would meet your criteria.
Cynthia Montgomery April 09, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Mr. J, Thank you for your kind comments. I must admit it is my favorite photo that has ever been taken of me. It was done by a wonderful photographer. She has a wonderful eye & captured me as I see myself; happy, fun loving, & timeless. We went to the Auburn City Park, (Yes, I said PARK) along the train tracks, As a national awarding winning photographer, I love to get the young involved in freezing a moment in time. After I was finished "shooting" them, I gave her my camera & asked her to be my photographer. This head shot came from that day. She was SEVEN years old. i love to see through the eyes of children. When I saw what she had captured, I fell in love with the expression, the angle, & the lighting. I just wished I still looked as young as she found me that day. My grandfather once said, "Stay around young people or you will grow old." As for the trees, do your comments mean that the trees will not be dropping nuts in our life time? While vacationing, I stayed at a place that was designed with relaxation in mind, THere was a reading chair, it was positioned by a window that looked out over a lake with a fountain. Every unit had a view like that. SInce then I consider all when design it happening. To plant nut dropping tree around a grassy seating area would be like having the fountain getting the reader wet. Parks are mean to refresh, Form follows function. Replacing grass & raking up nuts, does not show good design for a public area. The Hedges-GREAT DESIGN!
Cynthia Montgomery April 09, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Diane, Thank you for that AJC article about the Grove located by the fort. I pass by the area they are speaking about almost every day. There is a national marker located there, to mark the Fort. It is located on Hwy 124 & the intersection of Hwy 324. Just like the proud people of Harbins do not call themselves citizens of Hog Mountain, the City of Dacula citizens are also not from Hamilton Mill area. If the AJC is correct, the park would be using a name that comes from the Fort Daniel area not the Dacula area. I think we can do better. I now know the trees that you speak of as the Dollar General had one out in front of it. You can also find them next to the Hamilton Mill Car Wash, where the phone tower is located. ONE MATURE TREE would be enough to cover the entire park! They are indeed beautiful but so dirty! They do not flower in the spring that I have ever seen in the past 13 years ( could be once they mature they stop flowering) but they do indeed drop nuts. I do like the sound of grove but, a grove denotes rows & rows of trees, like an orange grove. We barely have an acre at this location. Diane can you think of something that might be more in line with the location & size for a name? I love those purple trees that bloom out each spring, They offer color, beauty & design. They do not grow too tall or too big as to dwarf our location. Dogwoods, cherry trees, & Bradford Pears also would provide the correct size & beautiful fora spring park visit. Old Town Park Place?

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