Thomasville, GA

October 27-29, 2016
Local Coordinating Organization: City of Thomasville 
Pop 18,700
Workshop Challenge: The goal of the CIRD workshop was to develop preliminary design concepts to inform a master plan for their historic downtown MacIntyre Park that would address stormwater runoff challenges in the park, while transforming it into a environmentally sustainable recreation destination that would encourage active lifestyles among the city’s diverse residents. MacIntyre Park is the oldest park in Thomasville and is located in a residential neighborhood that borders downtown.  The city of Thomasville needed to develop a design that maintains and enhances the unique open and natural qualities of the park while mitigating severe erosion caused by the three creeks that run through it by and improving accessibility to and within the park.  
Workshop Outcomes: This workshop implemented a creative placemaking approach to rejuvenating a park with strong history and cultural heritage in the community and brought city-wide partners together to tackle the design challenge. In addition to completing an extensive master plan design vision that can be incorporated into the upcoming comprehensive plan update this workshop built the capacity of the planning department to host and facilitate similar workshops to engage the community and continue addressing further improvements throughout the city’s park system.
Post-Workshop Accomplishments: Since the conclusion of the workshop the city has contracted resource team member Élise Cormier to design a nature based playground in MacIntyre Park on the site that was identified in the master plan. The construction documents are complete for Phase 1 of the project and will be sent out to bid for construction in June 2017. The playground has $50,000 of SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax) allocated for implementation of new playground equipment and plantings to stabilize the creek banks from further erosion. The master plan vision incorporated a city wide multi use trail that is currently under construction. Construction on the MacIntyre Park portion of the trail will begin at the end of 2017 and will be complete in 2018. The planning and zoning commision has also started a Parks and Open Space Committee that continues to identify and apply for additional grant opportunities to fund further work on the park.