The Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department announces the opening of the Southeast Clarke Park’s newest amenity, a 35-foot fiberglass walking bridge connecting the trails from Whit Davis Road and Lexington Road sides of the park. This bridge allows a safe creek crossing for users of the trails and allows citizens to park at any of the three parking lots, including the Athens-Clarke County Tennis Center, with access to all the amenities of this 124-acre park
Funding for the purchase of this up-to 50-year bridge was made possible by a generous grant from the Riverview Foundation based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The grant mostly funded the $28,000 bridge and was awarded to Leisure Services Department in 2018.
This new walking bridge was also made accessible by the hard work of two Boy Scouts from the Athens area. Thomas Dickerson of Troop 7 and Miles Montello of Troop 149 each planned and executed independent Eagle Scout projects to create trails approaching this new foot bridge. These young men planned the routes, met with Department staff, scheduled the work days, and helped to clear the new trails. They also met the requirements for the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout program by performing all administration, reporting, and presentation of the projects to the Eagle Scout Board of Review.
With these great local partners, Leisure Services maintenance staff was able to perform the final part of the project by assembling and inspecting the bridge in five days. The assembly of the almost 200 part bridge worked much like an Erector Set, but required the hands of eight skilled staff members to assemble and certify the bridge for use.
The bridge is open to citizens and accessible by any of the three parking areas at Southeast Clarke Park: Athens-Clarke County Tennis Center, recreation fields and Skate Park, or the Whit Davis dog parks and World of Wonder Park. Citizens are reminded to follow the brown trail marking signs when using walking trails, obey the use hours of 8:00 a.m. until sunset, keep dogs on a 6’ leash, and always dress for the weather on these and all trails in Leisure Services Department locations.
For more information, call 706-613-3801 or www.accgov.com/southeast.