Clean-up Plan for Tallahassee's Cascades Park

We're talking about a 20 or so acre site in downtown Tallahassee that's essentially useless right now because the ground is highly contaminated.

Tallahassee project managers tell WCTV, this once condemned park will soon be transformed into a focal point for downtown.

Behind the metal fencing and warning signs, in the shadow of Florida’s capital lies the site that's said to be the birthplace of Tallahassee, the area we know as Cascades Park.

"The advance parties discovered this beautiful area fed by a stream and a small waterfall and said this is the spot,” says Craig Diamond, Tallahassee Special Projects Manager.

That spot has been condemned for more than a decade because of contamination from an old coal gasification plant and city dump.

But, on Wednesday commissioners approved an agreement to start a massive clean up, and finally get rid of those metal fences.

"We are extremely excited about where we stand, it took while to get the park actually transferred to the city of Tallahassee, it took awhile to get the contamination agreement worked out, but now that's done, that is the beginning of the re-creation of the park,” says Dave Bright, Blueprint 2000, Planning Manager.

And, once clean up is complete Bright tells us Blueprint 2000 will be ready to start construction.

He says we'll one day see the cascade restored and recreational areas built.

It may be known as a Storm Water and Park Re-creation Project , but, to Diamond and Bright, they think of it more as a gem hidden in downtown Tallahassee.

The cost to clean up the park is going to be about $7.8 million, half of which is being picked up by the state.

And if all goes well, it should wrap up sometime mid next year. Dave Bright with Blueprint 2000 says he's hoping they'll be ready to come in right behind and begin construction.

They have a conceptual design, but are still working on an overall theme as far as a final design.