Earlier this month, about forty county residents joined Henry County staff at the Heritage Park town hall meeting to discuss the park’s future. Specifically, residents provided their feedback on a proposed concept to relocate the historic structures on display at Heritage Park.
The proposal to relocate the historic village — creating green space in its absence — was met with disapproval from those in attendance. Many favored repairing the structures in their current location.
Heritage Park Concept
The presentation prepared by staff offered the following concept for Heritage Park:
- Remove the existing pavilion located adjacent to the Veterans Museum. Construct a restroom building in its place.
- Update and repair the general store located behind the museum. Plan for future use of the building as a concession stand.
- Relocate the military helicopter to the Veterans Wall of Honor.
- Remove the train station / platform.
- Relocate the steam engine to the front entrance of the park. Maintain fencing around the locomotive to prevent climbing on the engine.
- Remove the 1827 log cabin, blacksmith barn and cook house.
- Move the school house, library, jailhouse and wishing well to another location.
- Repair the Nolan House located next to the small parking area and restroom building.
Staff proposed the area of the historic village become open green space. They also referenced building a new playground in the vicinity. “Where would the historic structures go instead?” was a common question from meeting attendees. Those present vocalized a strong desire for the buildings to remain at Heritage Park.
In other areas of the park, county staff proposed cleaning up the park entrance. This would include relocating the storage area and storage containers away from the entrance. Staff are proposing the steam engine and silo to be part of the new focal point when entering the park.
Following the residents’ feedback, county staff committed to no immediate changes at the park. They would also explore hiring an outside consultant to help developer a master plan and concept for Heritage Park. In addition, Henry County is considering the development of a countywide parks master plan. This master plan would provide a comprehensive review of all county parks.
Finally, residents who attended the meeting are actively seeking ways to continue the dialogue. The group “Friends of Heritage Village” is asking for interested individuals to join them with a goal of preserving the historic structures within the park. Those interested may contact Don Dunlap via email.
Featured image shows the green space concept for Heritage Park in McDonough. Photo credit Clayton Carte.
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