New Tallahassee Park Plans Unveiled

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

Tallahassee, Florida- July 9, 2012

Local kids from Leon County entered City Hall to a round of applause. They helped unveil the much anticipated plans for the city of Tallahassee's newest attraction: Discovery at Cascades Park.

"In this park we're going to have mostly natural features. They're interactive natural features like hills, big boulders to climb," said Meghan Mick, the parks designer.

Officials from both the city and county attended the unveilling. Mayor John Marks and Leon County Commission Chairman Akin Akinyemi were there, and Sammy Squirrel dropped by, too.

The new section of the 24-acre park aims to be educational and engaging for all park goers.

A small example of how the park is going to look was set up in City Hall. The kids said they wanted a lot of climbing and water feature throughout the new playscape.

"We had about 68 kids who drew pictures of what they would want and gave us some great ideas and their imaginations are just unstoppable," said Mick.

Cheyenne Carnley, who got to hang with the mayor, can't wait for the park to open so she can start doing some rock climbing.

"It's really fun, and you get to see how high you can go, and the sky's the limit," she said.

The folks behind the Discovery at Cascades Park think the sky's the limit for the new attraction, too. They hope to open in Spring of 2013.

The project was funded by a public and private partnership. Parts of Cascades Park are funded by Blueprint 2000 sales tax dollars. Discovery was funded privately, with over $100,000 coming from the park's presenting sponsor, First Commerce Credit Union.
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Tallahassee, Florida- July 9, 2012- 4:00 pm

Representatives from the Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) unveiled plans for their much anticipated Discovery at Cascades Park, a family-oriented playscape. This space, designed for the enjoyment of children and visitors of all ages, will present a variety of Florida environments intended to engage the senses and imagination.

“We are thrilled to unveil the vision and renderings for the Discovery project,” said Cecilia D. Homison, CEO of First Commerce Credit Union. "Discovery showcases our commitment to our community and supports the ongoing revitalization of our Capital City. We commend KCCI and its Cultivate Cascades volunteer team for the initiative they took in adding an interactive education and play area for families to Cascades Park.”

Discovery at Cascades Park, designed by Meghan Mick of From the Ground Up, and developed and fundraised by KCCI’s Cultivate Cascades team, is funded through private donations making this a true community project.

"This is a wonderful addition to the park," said Dave Snyder, Program Manager for Blueprint 2000. "Discovery at Cascades Park will be a place where kids of all ages can play."

Visual features include habitat gardens, a water play area, boulders, climbing logs, artwork and interpretative signage. The space is set to open in the spring of 2013, and will feature active, multi-sensory elements including:
- Interactive water feature with farm pump
- Climbing logs and jumps
- Steephead slide
- Butterfly garden
- Beach / sand area
- Outdoor classroom

"The strong local partnerships and financial contributions have been a vital component in helping bring to life a space that will truly benefit the entire community," said Laurie Hartsfield, Executive Director for KCCI. "We have been inspired by the support as our team has been working over the past 5 months to make this project a reality."

Discovery at Cascades Park is a unique partnership which brings private dollars to develop a new amenity planned within the public Cascades Park space. Thoughtfully designed with natural materials, Discovery features indigenous vegetation with creative landforms to create a purposefully complex area that will challenge and fascinate children.

Research shows these types of environments offer a wide range of benefits, such as increasing physical activity, developing motor skills and contributing to cognitive development. In addition, it offers the opportunity for creativity and imaginative outdoor play.
"As the leader in children's medical care, keeping them healthy and fit is paramount to Tallahassee Memorial colleagues," said Mark O'Bryant, President & CEO of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. "We are looking forward to being involved in making the Cascades Park's interactive water feature an active experience for them.

In addition to First Commerce Credit Union, project sponsors include: Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare; The COPE Coalition; CSX; Hopping, Green and Sams; Get Outdoors Florida!; Florida Wildlife Federation; The Caire family; Berneice Cox; North American Properties; Radey, Thomas, Yon & Clark; Debbie Dantin; Allison Tant; and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

In-kind sponsors are comprised of: From the Ground Up; Sandco; Esposito’s; BowStern Marketing; Tallahassee Democrat; Full Press Apparel; Genesis; Persico; Gary Yordon Governance, Inc.; Apogee; VanCore Jones and Miller's Tree Service.

For more information about Discovery at Cascades Park, or to receive project updates, visit www.discoveryatcascades.com or for more information about KCCI, visit www.kccitallahassee.com.

July 9, 2012- Noon

Plans are about to be unveiled for a new attraction in the city of Tallahassee. Discovery at Cascades Park is designed to promote outdoor activity and incorporate educational aspects.

Officials from both the City of Tallahassee and Leon County commission as well as folks from the Knight Creative Communities Institute are unveiling the images of the new all-ages playscape set to be constructed for Cascades Park in downtown Tallahassee.

The project is being billed as a new area where visitors will be able to enjoy approximately 7,000 square-feet of natural, interactive, and recreational features that aim to promote outdoor activity and incorporate education aspects.

This project is a result of research conducted earlier in 2012 by the KCCI Cultivate Cascades Team. They hope that this project can Elevate and promote the value of Cascades Park to potential corporate sponsors, philanthropic organizations, government agencies, and to the public at large.

The project was funded by the private donations.

Stay with WCTV for details.


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