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Blueprint asking for public input on Orange/Meridian Placemaking Project

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 7:02 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A new park and stormwater project is coming to the south side of Tallahassee. An open house, hosted by the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, wrapped up Friday afternoon at the Greater Love Church of God on Orange Avenue.

Community members shared their thoughts about what they’d like to see in their neighborhood, as Blueprint gathered public input on the Orange/Meridian Placemaking Project.

Plans for this park include a paved path around the stormwater pond, picnic pavilions, a children’s play area and exercise equipment. The project also includes stormwater improvements and the creation of a multi-use path connecting Monroe Street and Meridian Road.

Members of the community told WCTV Friday that they are ready for this investment.

Residents of all ages say a park on Orange Avenue is overdue.

“It needs a park very, very badly,” said nearby resident Freddie Miller.

“There hasn’t been a park here since forever. I’ve been here my whole life and I haven’t seen a park,” said middle schooler Amarieonna.

“I think it would be nice, it would be a change for the neighborhood,” said high schooler Sanaii.

Cousins Amarieonna and Sanaii have big dreams about the project.

“Having a little trail by the lake so you can walk and stuff, and take pictures and stuff,” the cousins said. “Stuff for all ages, not just for little babies but not just for teens; stuff that everybody can enjoy all at the same time.”

Nearby resident Freddie Miller is hoping for a more convenient exercise option.

“I think it will be very useful, because I like to walk. I go to Cascades sometimes, but this will be closer to my home,” said Miller.

Mr. B’s Real Grill BBQ catered the open house event Friday evening; owners are hoping for a boost from increased traffic.

“The Southside has been a good location,” said Arthur Barrington.

“We just think that it will bring a better attraction, will draw more people to come in this area,” said Veronica Barrington.

Benjamin Pye and Connie Jenkins-Pye have been in business across the street at Classic Cut Barber Shop for 20 years.

“We’ve seen quite a bit! I used to look out there and there would be nothing but woods all across down there,” said Benjamin.

They’d like to see all ages use the park safely, emphasizing that it’s up to the community to take care of their new amenity.

“Kids playing around down there, have a walkway down there, with benches etc etc, a lot of lighting, and cameras,” said Benjamin.

“When God gives you something good, you take care of your own. and this is going to be our own, so we’ve got to take care,” added Connie.

Friday’s event was not the only chance for public input; there will be other events, and the link to the survey can be found online here.

Design on this project is set to be complete this year, with construction starting in early 2022 and taking about 18 months.

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