ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Harrison Park Advisory Board discussed their calendar of upcoming events during their meeting on Thursday, July 11, 2019.
The events are as follows:
Saturday, August 31, 2019 … Saturday, September 14, 2019 … Saturday, September 28, 2019: Movies in the Park. 7:30 pm on all three days. Free to the public. Movies will be mostly rated G or PG. There will be a donation bucket, T-shirt sales, and either Coke or Pepsi vending. The board has raised $750 already, and are expecting to raise $2,000 total for the event. They are currently expecting around 200 people.
Saturday, July 13, 2019: HealthIt 9 am – 11 am Animal Hospital will be present. Feel free to bring your dogs on a leash for a short presentation on heart worms, then a dog walking party!
Saturday, August 10, 2019: HealthIt at 9 am with chiropractic services discussion and organized exercises.
Saturday, September 14, 2019: HealthIt at 9 am. Yoga or Tai Chi (to be announced).
HealthIt for October will likely be skipped due to a busy schedule, with November to be announced.
Saturday, October 5, 2019: Crooners and Cocktails fundraiser. Ticket prices are expected to be $100 per ticket. Music and catering to be announced. Time to be announced.
Saturday, October 26, 2019: Chili cook off. Time to be announced, but will be in the afternoon sometime.
Harrison Park is located at 75 McCutchen St, Ellijay, GA 30540 and is, of course, open to the public!
The next board meeting will be at the Ellijay City Hall (197 North Main Street, Ellijay, GA 30540) on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 9 am. The public is welcome to attend!
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As always Karla and I pick on BKP on Tuesday mornings. There is SO much going on this week and weekend in Gilmer County. Karla and her team are officially picking the name Mr. Bigfoot today! There will be live music all over the county this weekend from restaurants to vineyards and even pick’n on the porch. Gilmer Arts and Plein Art will be doing their “Art in the Mountains” around the county this weekend. If you love local art then you definitely want to check this event out. Also, the Annual Charles Sumner Racking Horse Show will be going on at the Saddle Club arena on Saturday. All of this and even more going on in the great Gilmer County this weekend. To get times, locations, and more info on all these fun events check out the Gilmer Chamber’s event calendar. Thank you to the Gilmer County Chamber for sponsoring this segment.
Springtime in Ellijay means a lot of great upcoming events to get outside and enjoy! Dalton State College is hosting an art show for all local students from today until May 5th. There will be a reception tonight to kick off the art show. There are also ribbon cuttings this week at Premier Pools and Spas and Abby’s Ice Cream and Fro Yo. This weekend is Earth Day and it is supposed to be a beautiful weekend. In honor of Earth Day there will be a couple “clean up” events around town one will be at Harrison Park and the other will start at River Pavilion.
The next big Gilmer County event that we are looking forward to is the Apple Blossom Festival on May 6th and 7th. This is a great festival showcasing local craft vendors, food vendors and businesses. Come out, bring your pups, and meet the FYN team. We will have a “pup-cam” and treats for all our furry friends as well. Also in today’s segment with Karla hear a little confession from BKP about “his spot” at the Apple Blossom Festival.
For more information on all these upcoming events and many more check out the events calendar on the Gilmer Chamber website.
The Harrison Park Board came before the City Council Monday night, November 21, requesting financial support for its future.
Kim Humphreys, Chair of the Harrison Park Board, and Scott McBride, Head of Finance Sub-Committee for the Board, presented two requests to the Council supporting the McCutchen Street Park near the Ellijay Primary School. The more pressing of the two requests raised concerns in the council and questions about a Budget Approval for the UGA Charrette for Harrison Park.
The Charrette (by definition a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions) will come as an agreement between the City of Ellijay and the University of Georgia (UGA) to use engineering students to come and offer designs, plans, and options for improvements to the park. As a part of this, the Harrison Park Board is asking for citizens to offer their thoughts and input on what they want to see in the park so the students could take the ideas to build on. “What we’re asking people to do is prioritize what they want, the kinds of activities they want to participate in out there. That information then gets compiled for the students.” says Humphreys.
A Charrette like this would offer those students real world experience in their field while granting our city their engineering expertise through the University.
With the approval, contract work has begun on the agreement and Ellijay could see students in our park studying and planning in late January or early February. The team, made up of 25 students along with several professors, will take the surveys and are expected to hold a meeting for the community so they may talk about their interpretations of the results and to ask further questions of citizens in attendance.
The meeting will help those involved overcome hurdles and obstacles that could result in renovating the barn, parking, bathrooms, paths, stage location, activities, and possible free events or how to keep a section of the park open along side certain ticketed events. These all depend on the community’s response and what they want according to Humphreys who went on to ask, “What about a dog park? Exercise area? Fishing? Boats? Kayaks? All these questions will come up with students.”
The Charrette approval came with a $15,000 budget item that will be used to cover the $9,000 price for the contract. The extra, according to Humphreys, will cover expenses for travel, lodging, food, work supplies, and other necessities which may not use the all of the leftover $6,000. The request was made to make sure the Board had enough to cover the students trips.
Humphreys also stated that having these students will not only benefit the city by having professional quality work and designs, but will also bring several disciplines together to aid the process. The number of students involved will also add insight into the project as they could ultimately present the Harrison Park Board and the City of Ellijay with 4 plans to deliberate upon.
At that point the City and Board would decide upon the best plan, or a possible combination of plans, to move forward with.
However the Charrette is only a part of the plans for Harrison Park as they hope to move forward in the future with plans to purchase property on North Main St (Old Highway 5) for more parking as well as additional access to the park.
As you can see in the image, also included is a plan to build a proposed extension and walking path along the river to become a 1.5 mile long path.
This involves the second request that came before the council as they approved a Support Resolution for a DNR (Department of Natural Resources) Grant Proposal for the Park. If the Grant is approved, according to Scott McBride, it could culminate up to $100,000.
However, McBride also stated, “If the stars align and we are approved for the total $100,000,” the city would become responsible for a 20% match on the grant. McBride assured the council that while both of these approvals came to a potential total of $35,000, the DNR Grant Match could be made through private donations or “in kind” services.
What that means is the Harrison Park Board could, and reportedly has already begun, garnering private support and donations from people to help the park and could also use volunteer work and “costs” to meet that match.
Bringing the Grant and Charrette (read more by clicking on the image to the left) together will allow the city to break down projects to accomplish over time or to allow organizations to volunteer and donate towards. This could be great projects that certain organizations could fully take over, such as an example of a Veterinary Clinic sponsoring and developing a dog park section. This also allows the City to maintain the “Bigger Picture” to move the overall project forward.
Humphreys and McBride both stated the Charrette Approval would take great strides in helping to gather private donations as people saw the City becoming committed and invested in the success of the local park.
The Board itself is already making progress after hosting a “Clean-up Day” which saw 54 volunteers come out to the park in order to clear a 200 ft section on the river bank.
Humphreys said she has been very proud of her Board of Directors who have already accomplished so much, and continue to push for a very optimistic and bold agenda for their future.
Ellijay City Council tonight confirmed that the city has filed suit against CBS Contracting. (more…)