A special called business meeting for the Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 26, in St. Mark’s Hall, Claiborne House, at Otey Parish. The meeting will consist of discussing and voting on a memorandum of understanding between the Civic Association and the University of the South for the Elliott Park playground.
Specific details include a five-year term for the agreement, site preparation, installation and contingency planning, should the site be needed for other purposes. The memorandum of understanding with the University also addresses issues such as maintenance, drainage control and parking lot improvements. The SCA Parks Committee will be the point of contact for Elliott Park moving forward. This project will be a collaborative effort with the University’s Physical Plant Services, neighboring organizations and community volunteers to maintain and enhance the park, creating a sense of ownership to ensure the long-term care and upkeep of this important part of the community.
The plans for redeveloping Elliott Park include swing sets, a balance beam, bridge, climbing structures, spinning elements and a musical component. Other criteria met by the approved design include use of natural and local materials. The park will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and accessible, with access ramps at the adjoining sidewalk and parking lot.
Originally designated in 1870, Elliott Park has a history of community support with much of its playground equipment built by the community or purchased with donations. A swing set, chin-up bars, wooden step structure, and sandbox (now removed) were installed under the leadership of Sandy Baird and Yolande Gottfried in the 1980s. In 1998, community member Dana Lesesne spearheaded the addition of a pirate ship constructed by the Sewanee chapter of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji), with support from various sources, including the Kaj Krogstad Memorial Fund. In 2012, several wooden play elements were in disrepair and removed from Elliott Park, leaving behind little more than an aging swing set in what was once a vibrant place for the children to play. The For the Parks project will benefit the whole community and its many visitors by reminding all that Sewanee is not only a place where families live, but is a place where families are valued.
The For the Parks campaign needs approximately $23,486 to reach its goal for the Elliott Park playground equipment and installation project. To date, major support has been received from the Sewanee Community Council Funding Project, the South Cumberland Community Fund, the Joel and Trudy Cunningham Charitable Trust and the Kaj Krogstad Memorial Fund. The deadline to raise the remainder of the funds is Sept. 30.