Bainbridge park expansion project underway

The project is currently in its third phase. The park expansion will include two playgrounds, a splash pad, a grand staircase, among other things.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:24 PM EST
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BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WALB) - A park known as Chason Park is getting expanded thanks to federal funds.

The City of Bainbridge was awarded $1.2 million from the Department of Community Affairs for Rural Downtown Redevelopment. They also received over $30,000 from a trust foundation. All the money will go towards the Chason Park Expansion Project.

A trust foundation also donated over $30,000 for the expansion.
A trust foundation also donated over $30,000 for the expansion.(WALB)

The project is currently in its third phase. The park expansion will include two playgrounds, a splash pad, a grand staircase and some historical additions such as a memorial fountain.

Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds said the ongoing project is a way to preserve the history of the Flint River.

“Now the river is part of our work, play, fun area. So we wanted to build a park that would bring in not only tourism but our local residents. We have to thank not only Sanford Bishop for the federal dollars we got but for our senator, Senator (Dean) Burke has worked really hard to get us some state dollars as well,” he said.

Reynolds said the awarded funds helped the city not have to do a tax increase.

Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds said residents won't be impacted by a tax increase.
Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds said residents won't be impacted by a tax increase.(WALB)

“Very small amount of tax really. We won’t be doing any tax increase, you know, to pay for it for sure. So, it would be within (the) current tax structure,” he added.

The park expansion is a part of the Riverfront master plan that started in 2008. A big part of this project is connecting the Flint River to Downtown Bainbridge. The last phase will bring more walkways downtown that will connect to the riverwalk.

Roy Oliver, the assistant city manager for Bainbridge, said there are more details behind the fun elements of the new park.

“There’s an education piece to it about preserving the river and the education piece with how important the Pine Forrest is to Bainbridge and Decatur County,” he said.

The park expansion is in its third phase.
The park expansion is in its third phase.(The City of Bainbridge)

Oliver also said the kids’ splash pad is designed to showcase the actual river flow of the Flint River for kids to see up close and personal. While kids are playing at the splash pad, the attraction will also naturally maintain the park’s lawn. So far, city leaders said the park has gotten good feedback.

“That river is so beautiful, and I’ve always said it’s one of our greatest commodities. It’s water. For us to be able to capitalize that as part of the beautiful city that we live in, I think it’s going to just be wonderful,” said June Faircloth, a Bainbridge resident.

Reynolds said phase 3 of this project is set to finish by next summer.