Madisonville officials and a Nashville-based architect firm have unveiled the master plan for the Mahr Park project and plan to start initial development stages soon.
The city is working with the firm Lose & Associates for the 265-acre park.
Mayor David Jackson says the park, named for the late Glema Mahr who bequeathed the property to the city, will be a passive park featuring several nature trails, community gardens, playgrounds and an amphitheater instead of sports fields.
"Since this is a passive park, it allows for a lot more activities and opportunities to interact with nature," said Jackson. "We're developing a lot of partnerships with groups Master Gardeners and the Boy Scouts, who are wanting to do some eagle scout projects there."
Although there's plenty of work yet to be done, Jackson says he's amazed by the way the planning process brought the community together.
“This is truly going to be a community park," said Jackson. "We have so many community members who are participating in its development and hopefully in the operation of the park. It’s really going to bring our community together and really be bright spot for the city of Madisonville for generations to come.”
The Mahr Park will be located on the opposite side of town as the existing Madisonville City Park and borders 420-acre Lake Pee Wee. Jackson says the lake-adjacent location could allow for small recreational water activities further down the line.
Jackson says phase one of the project, which includes building roads into and through the park, will begin later this year, but work on the veteran-run community garden called “Growing Warriors” has already begun.
Phase two consists of building the amphitheater, community gardens, and parking areas. Phase three will include extending the roads and developing the area near the lake.
Jackson says the project will take place over several budget years, so it’s too early to determine the overall cost, but the city plans to let out bids for engineering the phase one roadways soon.