This is the weekend.
The field has been mowed, parking has been arranged, amenities arranged.
And the biggest item on the day’s menu is a dream turning into a reality: Aspire Park.
On March 23, with a rain date of March 30, the public is invited to check out the proposed plans and walk around the site from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will be free food trucks, activities for kids and people on site to answer questions from the public.
“It is a big undertaking,” Hollingsworth Foundation Executive Director Mike Wallace said. “And it’s moving really quickly.”
As The Courier News reported last week, it’s long been a dream of the Hollingsworth family to contribute to a park that would improve the quality of life in Clinton, according to Joe Hollingsworth.
“We wanted this be a component to the recent Clinton Vision and a true experience that would repeatedly attract local appreciation and some national recognition,” he said. “Additionally, we wanted it to highlight some of the local historic stories to give a texture of the community to those who enjoy the park.”
The proposed park goes from the driving range on Yarnell Road all the way down to the river, then up the hill. Around 170 acres are privately owned by the Hollingsworth Foundation, and the remaining land Wallace and Joe Hollingsworth want incorporated into the park belongs to the Tennessee Valley Authority. That land is already used as public land. The islands, too, are owned by TVA.
“During our discovery process we visited over 50 parks across the nation comparing the best and most creative ideas,” Hollingsworth explained. “Then, we followed up with a national design competition with Port Urbanism from Chicago/Philadelphia being the winner with their innovative ideas. Now, as we add other creative partners with this group, we hope to create an inspirational recreational experience, not simply a park.”
While looking over the grounds last week, Hollingsworth said, “This is going to be a regional park, but it’s Clinton’s. After we’re long gone this will still be Clinton’s.”
Hollingsworth said the park will stay in the Foundation’s hands — no public funds will be spent to build or upkeep it. He noted that it is better that way because the Foundation can assure there will always be funding for what the park needs.
To find the park on for the foundation’s Community Engagement Day, put 350 Clinch Avenue into your GPS. Take East Siding Road, just before Yarnell Road, to park.