Volunteers help restore East Lake Park
Improvements are coming to Chattanooga’s first park. Wednesday, volunteers helped paint the pavilion.
Chattanooga’s oldest park received a makeover Wednesday; it’s all a part of an ongoing project to improve East Lake Park.
Improvements are coming to Chattanooga’s first park. East Lake Park was dedicated to the city in the late 1800 and is in need of much repair.
"I like East Lake. I love East Lake. I brought my children up in East Lake. And this is their stomping grounds. Whenever they come home they have a place to go,” said Linda Richards.
Linda Richards is one of many east lake residents dusting walls and painting railings to re-store this historic park.
"We're focusing on painting the pavilion and basically trying to get it updated and ready for the East Lake Festival that is next week,” said Anna Mathis.
Mathis with the City of Chattanooga led a cleanup day Wednesday to get the community involved with the bigger plans for the park.
It’s all a part of a $600,000 facelift ahead of an aging park that has faced several challenges over the years.
"When people see that people put effort into improving parks and actually taking care of them then they'll take care of it too,” Mathis said.
In May, the Public Works Water Quality program cited excessive algae and an ecological imbalance in the area.
Residence said an abundance of lily pads, geese and trash are a part of the problem.
They hope Wednesday’s cleanup will change the way park users treat the park.
"It may not be perfect, but it's going to be in better shape than it was before,” Richards said.
City officials said they are working with the neighborhood council to make small repairs to the park before bigger projects start this Fall.
It's changes that residents have been waiting for.
"When I lived in the courts my children didn't have anywhere to go, they had to stay in front of the house so I could watch them. Here when they came I knew where they were, it was a safe place for them,” Richards said.
The city opened a survey for park users and the surrounding community to see what they want improved in the park. They will then present preliminary concepts to the public at the National Night Out on October 4th.
Take the survey here: East Lake Park Survey