Building is under way for boardwalk additions at Reed Creek Wetlands Park and numerous other Columbia County park-improvement projects are in the planning stages.
In the $525,000 project, crews are extending the boardwalk 1,100 feet farther into the wetlands surrounding Reed Creek off Furys Ferry Road.
"We're expecting completion in May," Columbia County Community and Leisure Services Director Barry Smith said.
Work is nearly complete on additions to the Memorial Gardens behind the Columbia County Library.
County officials recently unveiled an expanded playground and new pavilion. A zero-depth fountain should open in April, Smith said.
That project cost $211,000, with funding coming from county commissioner's discretionary funds and private donations.
Officials soon will seek bids for constructing the first phase of Evans Town Center Park, Smith said.
Using a combination of bonded funds from the 2011-16 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and leftover park construction money from the current penny tax for a total of about $3 million, the first construction phase will include a parking lot, restroom facilities, pavilion, picnic areas and the start of a walking trail.
Building will be limited to the four acres nearest Ronald Reagan Drive on the 17-acre parcel.
"We probably won't break ground for another six to eight months," Smith said.
Plans for a four-mile walking trail circumnavigating Patriots Park and extending into a portion of Bartram Trail might depend on a pair of state grants, officials said.
Part of a proposed Euchee Creek Greenway, officials want to connect Patriots Park to the city of Grovetown via a walking and bike trail following Euchee Creek.
Officials currently are awaiting a reply on requests for state Department of Transportation and state Department of Natural Resources grants totaling $600,000 to start construction.
Should the county win the grants, another $600,000 of SPLOST funds will be added to the project, Smith said.
In other park happenings, Smith said officials currently are seeking land for neighborhood parks in Martinez and near Grovetown. Also, a $1.5 million project to improve the entrance at Wildwood Park is in the design phase, he said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.