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Monday, July 30, 2012

2011 General Services Annual Report: Park Review Part II



Highland Park

 Tower Park always has been and continues to be a park of special significance.  Not only does it have historic merit, being a frontier and Civil War fort, it continues to be an active military base and even more active playground for children through adult.  I grew up playing at that park; the swings may be different and the seesaw may be gone but the laughter lingers and the activity abides.

And in a sweeping move to ensure that the parks remain relevant, safe, clean, and fun, the city of Fort Thomas undertook a wholesale makeover of the entire park system, including Tower.  I reviewed Rossford last week, the below is Knox’s review of Tower and Highland Park.

Tower Park is the favorite.  Not only is it 0.64 miles from the house, a distance Knox can (and does) easily run, but it has the most options of all the parks.  The renovation installed an all-new water drainage system on the baseball field, built a new amphitheatre, three new picnic shelters, two new playground areas (new equipment was installed prior to the rest of the renovations), volleyball courts moved over by the basketball and tennis courts so all of these games were in the same area, and resurfaced sidewalks and pavement. Some of the work continues, including the grading of the seating and some pavement work.

The play area really is a lot of fun for children of various ages.  It would be nice if they had a bit more separation of play areas between those designated for toddlers and those elements for older children.  Also, it does lack some elements I fondly remember such as the seesaw, climbing dome, and merry-go-round (likely intentional exclusions for safety).  But, in all, a great playground, tennis courts, baseball/softball diamond, and family fun area.

Highland Park Restrooms
Highland Park was also completely renovated.  Much work had previously been done at this park on the baseball field and installing one of the best dog parks in the area.  The focus, then, was on the entry of the park and the former tennis courts.  The basketball court was removed, playground shifted to the other side of the street, bathrooms rebuilt, and a new picnic shelter installed. Also, the playground and shelter up by the baseball field were replaced.  The former tennis courts are still being rebuilt to create a sand volleyball court.

This park is definitely smaller and the playground area is quite a bit less thrilling, but it has a quaint feeling (at the end of a nice neighborhood street), is secluded and has a different variety of elements (i.e. dog park and Frisbee golf course).  The renovations are definitely a vast improvement.

The improvements at all parks really have been well received by Knox.  Additionally, it is great to see the continued commitment to family and recreation in the city.

Highland Park Pavilion

Highland Park Swings
 

3 comments:

  1. Small correction on your blog entry...

    The Tower Fort (or Ft. Thomas) was not a Civil War fort. It wasn't created by the Army until the 1880's.

    There was a small fort (Ft. Whittlesay) located across from the existing Fort during the Civil War, but it saw no action.

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  2. I LOVE these in depth stories!

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  3. Awesome correction! Thanks for checking the historical accuracy. Love learning new things about our town's history.

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