How many of you can identify the name of the group that sang the line, “Saturday, in the park. I think it was the fourth of July.?” And, for bonus points and without looking online, do you know the next verse following “People talking, really smiling, __________?”
Not to give too much away - as you think about the answers - when I was a young boy the images that famous song conjured in my mind always brought instant feelings of contentment as I reflected on my summertime fun in the park with my friends and family. The sights and sounds of all the sports, music, and general play activities, and the tastes from the concession stands and food trucks, to the outdoor cook outs and picnics.
I’m also reminded that for those of us blessed to live in a more temperate climate, the fun in the park never really ended at the close of summer. And the same holds true today. Especially in Johns Creek.
As the sun begins to set on our summer season, I encourage you to not lose sight of the fact that the parks in the City are still open and available all year long, and have something for nearly everyone. And, equally important of note, we have more parks on the way with new amenities. When you have a moment, I invite you take a look at the vision for what we have in store.
Johns Creek has more than doubled its parks space over the past three years and we have five new parks under design, which will bring our total number of city parks to nine once they are all complete. Of note, our largest park, the yet to be named Cauley Creek/Quail Hollow parcel, will become the third largest park in metro-Atlanta with more than 190 acres of both active and passive recreational opportunities. The potential is very exciting.
The City Council and I are anxiously awaiting our next review of the latest draft design plans in the coming weeks, and I encourage you to take a look online at what has been proposed to date.
We’ve already begun putting the $40 million Parks Bond to use, which was voted on by our residents in 2016, and have added three synthetic turf fields to help support improved recreational opportunities for youth sports in the city.
The next steps for the City Council include approving the new parks designs, and prioritizing the phasing and construction timelines for each. We are all anxious to move forward with advancing the new parks, but it is very important that the City Council take a methodical approach to better ensure we make the most of each dollar spent on behalf of our community.
I know how much our parks system means to so many of you, and I believe it is a critical piece in the fabric of our community. From the sports and concerts, to leisure and events, our parks continue to provide great opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in our community to actively come together, to learn more about each other, and to both enjoy and improve our lives in general. I think Chicago (spoiler alert) summed it up best as they sang, “People reaching, people touching. A real celebration; Waiting for us all.”
Our parks and all the related amenities are waiting there for you with so much more on the way. I hope to see you out there.