More Granite, Formwork and First Mound of Mulch

All the granite cladding for the retaining and seating walls—except for areas around the metal pillars that will eventually support an archway sign—is now done. Workers will shortly complete the wooden formwork that will shape the concrete paths. That concrete will be poured and spread soon, possibly even as this is being written. Areas around the two street-facing magnolias have been mulched—and it looks and smells good.

Granite, Gravel and Dogwoods

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There’s still some granite cladding to be put in place, but the park’s seating and retaining walls are now more than half-way complete. Workers are beginning to spread gravel along where the paved concrete path will soon be poured. And the dogwoods facing Barber Street have been planted.  The contractor—Andrew Wahlers of Cultivation, LLC—now estimates completing the project by early October.

 

 

 

 

 

Boulevard Woods is in the Flagpole Guide

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The Flagpole’s Guide to Athens, Georgia now includes a listing for Boulevard Woods. Look, there it is nestled alphabetically—and oh-so-tangibly in black and white—between Bishop Park and Dudley Park in the guide’s parks and recreation section.

At deadline time for the guide, a mid-September opening seemed likely. Now, due to the unforeseeable vagaries of construction projects and weather, it turns out that the opening is more likely to happen a little later, in mid-October.

More history made today

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The first concrete for Boulevard Woods was poured today into the footings that will support the granite rubble retaining and seating walls.

Construction is underway

 

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Been wanting to say this for a long time…We’ve started construction of Boulevard Woods!

Crosswalks have been installed already, thanks to Athens-Clarke County’s public works department.

With luck we’ll have a park in about 90 days.

The park itself is being constructed by Andrew Wahlers and his small crew of Cultivation, LLC. The project is being supervised on behalf of the Athens Land Trust, Inc. by Josh Koons of Koons Environmental Design, Inc. They all deserve our special thanks during this phase of the project.

Stay tuned for more construction updates, volunteer work opportunities, and for details about a grand-opening party.

Boulevard Woods gets final green light

With a unanimous vote at its Feb. 3 regular session meeting, the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission gave the final green light to the Boulevard Woods project.

We’re not sure of the exact date that we’ll be able to break ground to build the park, but we’ll let you know in the coming weeks. That’s right: the next step is actual construction. (Can you believe it?)

Thank you Mayor Denson, and Commissioners!

Show your support for Boulevard Woods tonight

Whether Boulevard Woods gets built or not is now in the hands of the Mayor and Commission.

They are set to vote on the project at their regular session meeting tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 3). The meeting starts at 7 pm at City Hall.

If they vote to give a green light, we’ll be able to break ground on constructing Boulevard Woods this spring.

Support for Boulevard Woods looks strong from the Mayor and the Commissioners at this point. But a show of continuing support from the community won’t hurt.

You can do that by joining us in person tonight at City Hall for the meeting. Or by sending a quick message to the Mayor and your Commissioner expressing your support for Boulevard Woods. Or you can do both.

Here’s contact information for the Mayor and Commissioners.

We got on the agenda for Feb. 3!

Boulevard Woods was officially added to the agenda for a final Mayor and Commission vote on Feb. 3 at tonight’s agenda setting meeting.

This happened without objection—and is a positive sign (but no guarantee) for the likely outcome at the Mayor and Commission’s Feb. 3 regular session meeting.

We’ll have more updates coming soon, but mark your calendars! We’ll need supporters on hand at the next Mayor and Commission meeting—Tuesday, Feb. 3, at City Hall, starting at 7 pm.

Here’s a link to remarks made at the agenda setting meeting  in support of Boulevard Woods.

Boulevard Woods is coming up at agenda setting meeting

Next week, at the Mayor and Commission’s agenda setting meeting, Boulevard Woods will likely take another step closer to becoming a real park. At its Tuesday, Jan. 20  meeting, the Mayor and Commission will consider a motion to include Boulevard Woods in its regular session agenda for Feb. 3.

If Boulevard Woods does get on the agenda for the regular session—and that seems likely at this point—then the Mayor and Commission will vote Feb. 3 to give final approvals to the project.

A few project organizers will be present at the agenda setting meeting to speak briefly in support of the project and be on hand to answer any questions. It doesn’t seem necessary to flex lots of neighborhood and community muscle in support of the project at this meeting. But if you’re interested, please join us.

The agenda setting meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 20 at City Hall. The meeting starts at 7 pm.

The fact that Boulevard Woods is coming up at the agenda setting meeting means that a lot of behind-the-scenes work has been accomplished since our fundraising efforts concluded successfully about three months ago in October.

Josh Koons and staff at Koons Environmental Design, Inc. have done lots of work in preparing final construction drawings. Staff in Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services, Planning, Transportation and Public Works departments and the Manager’s and Attorney’s Offices have also done much to finalize agreements and plans. ACC Commissioners Kelly Girtz and Jared Bailey and former Commissioner Kathy Hoard played key roles in keeping the project moving forward.

Athens Land Trust, Inc. provided lots of help during this phase, too—and are continuing to do so. The same is true for Boulevard Neighborhood Association’s steering committee.

We’ll keep you posted.

FYI, you can find the draft agenda report on Boulevard Woods here.

4 Important Project Updates

It’s been a while since we’ve reported on our progress in making Boulevard Woods a reality. But a lot has been happening behind the scenes, including these four developments.

1.  Maintenance costs covered. 

Thanks to efforts from Commissioners Kelly Girtz and Kathy Hoard, there is now support from the commission for ACC to cover the ongoing maintenance costs of Boulevard Woods.

This means that Boulevard Neighborhood Association, Inc. will not have to raise funds for ongoing maintenance of the park (which could have amounted to $4000 annually), and instead those expenses will be covered by the ACC General Fund.

2. $99,999 limit.

ACC has now suggested we limit the cost of Boulevard Woods to less than $100,000. Doing so will allow ACC to arrange to have the park built by a third party without triggering an expensive, time-consuming bidding process.

State law allows local governments to forgo a more elaborate bidding process for some public works projects that cost less than $100,000. If the project cost more, then the normal requirements would kick back in whether a third-party is involved or not.

This means we may have to make some changes to our original plans to reduce costs, but we’ll still be able to build able to build a safe, distinctive and graceful neighborhood park.

3. Athens Land Trust, Inc. offers more help. 

ALT is willing to sign an agreement with ACC to lease the park site for a dollar for construction purposes. When construction is complete, ALT will turn the park back to ACC to maintain as a public park.

Boulevard Neighborhood Association, Inc. and its volunteers will have a role in helping ACC maintain the park, but having a professional, insured organization like ALT take on the responsibilities of overseeing the construction of the park is a big relief.

The construction of the park will be funded by money raised by the Boulevard Neighborhood Association, Inc. and held in an earmarked account at ALT. Thank you, Athens Land Trust!

4. $14,063 left to raise.

To pay for as much of our original plan as possible and yet remain under the $99,999 limit imposed by state law, we’ll need to raise $14,063 as of this writing. Had we still been aiming for our original target of $125,000, we’d be about $35,000 short. We’re so close now! Watch for the announcement of our final fundraising push soon, but if you can’t wait, you can contribute now right here.