The playground at Amerson River Park will be closed Wednesday through Friday, November 13-15, 2019 so work can begin on the installation of a new cloth shade sail to protect people and equipment from the sun. The rest of Amerson River Park will remain open. During this time, the poles that will support the cover will be installed; the plan is for the cover itself to be installed when the weather gets warmer.
“It’s amazing to see so many families enjoying the playground on beautiful days, but many of them leave before noon because the area gets too hot,” says Parks & Beautification Director Mike Glisson. “With the new sunshade, people will be able to enjoy the playground all day long.”
The project is being funded through NewTown Macon, which has raised funds for both the Park and the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail for 23 years. NewTown Macon’s founders envisioned an urban recreational trail system and garnered support from the city and county to issue $5 million in bonds to launch the Trail in the mid-1990s. NewTown Macon committed to raise significant private resources to match these funds and continues to raise funds to plan trail expansions and improvements. The Ocmulgee Heritage Trail is an example of a true public/private partnership – once portions of the Trail are completed, Macon-Bibb County assumes responsibility and operates the improvements in perpetuity as a public park. Today, the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail is over 11 miles long and offers recreational opportunities for the entire community.
“The community’s contributions to the construction fund at NewTown make it possible to continue growing and enhancing the trail,” said Josh Rogers, President and CEO of NewTown Macon. “Thank you to everyone who supports the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.”
About Amerson River Park
Amerson River Park is the former site of the Macon Water Authority’s treatment plant that was submerged in the Flood of 1994. After a new treatment plant was built away from the river, the area became a 160+-acre rugged park. A federal grant of $5.5 million allowed Macon-Bibb County to shut it down for 15 months to make significant improvements, including two new picnic pavilions, upgrades to the Porter Pavilion area, a scenic river overlook, bathrooms at the playground, 3.5 miles of paved trails, 0.75 miles of mulch trails, a grand entrance, a new canoe takeout, and more. It reopened in May 2015, and during those summer months, more than 3,000 people visited it per week. Since then, more than 450,000 people have visited each year.
Since reopening, it has earned several state and national recognitions. This includes being names the Second Best Park in America through a public voting and Instagram contest by Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) and being named to the Georgia Water Coalition’s Clean 13 Report .
In the next several years, the trails in Amerson River Park will connect to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail through historic Linwood and Rose Hill Cemeteries and across the river to the Trail in East Macon-Bibb. The Trail will then connect to trails in the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds, creating a continuous 12-15 miles of trail along the Ocmulgee River.
About NewTown Macon
For over 20 years, NewTown Macon has led the revitalization efforts of downtown Macon. NewTown Macon’s mission is to attract, leverage, and invest in self-sustaining transformation with the vision of a vibrant and authentic city experience unparalleled in the South. For more information, please visit www.newtownmacon.com . NewTown Macon’s headquarters is located at 555 Poplar Street, Macon, GA 31201 and can be reached at (478) 722-9909.