DALTON, Ga. — It's been called one of the city's crown jewels, but at the same time, many Daltonians don't even know it exists.
Just west of the I-75 South Walnut Avenue exit, and within shouting distance of Bojangles', lies a picturesque waterfall on the fringes of a wooded area. For years, the view of the waterfall was obscured by the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce's headquarters, but that building has since been demolished.
Now, community groups — with the help of the city of Dalton — are continuing a vision to turn the tract of land at the waterfall into a park. During the Dalton City Council work session Monday night, Dalton Civitan Club members spoke to council members about the park the club is building at the intersection of Dug Gap Battle Road and College Drive.
"The park will feature a landscape berm, an observation deck, and a parking lot for four vehicles, plus a van accessible space," said Civitan Club member Barry Slaymaker.
Club members asked for the Public Works Department to construct a berm and pave the parking lot. The rest of the work would be done by club members. The site is city property, and the estimated value of the work that would be done by the Public Works Department is $7,518.
When finished, the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department would maintain the site. The park's target completion date is Sept. 28.
In their regular meeting, the council voted 4-0 to approve a budget amendment to fund the Public Works Department's share of the work on the park. The Public Works Committee reviewed the request at its June 28 meeting and was in favor of presenting the project to the full mayor and council for final approval. The project required a budget amendment for the city's in-kind contributions.
Several community groups have worked on the park. In March, volunteers cleared away brush and limbs from the area, which had become overgrown. Participating in the cleanup were volunteers from the Believe Greater Dalton, Christian FreeWorship Church, Dalton Civitan Club and Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful. Believe Greater Dalton is a public-private effort to implement a five-year strategic plan for the area to help improve quality of life and economic vitality.