Children's Park plans to honor fathers

Published on Saturday, 24 May 2014 00:33 - Written by Kelly Gooch kgooch@tylerpaper.com

New opportunities are available to contribute to the proposed Children’s Park expansion project.

Jennifer Carson, president of The Children’s Park of Tyler nonprofit, said one of those opportunities is in honor of Father’s Day. For a $100, $200 or $300 donation, she said a man’s name, whether it be a husband, father, uncle, grandfather, friend or someone else, will be placed on the “Founding Fathers” Bronze Plaque for Phase II, which includes a remodel of the existing house at 110 E. Dobbs St., called “Alison’s House,” as well as a meditation and prayer garden. The donor also will receive a card to present to the honoree on Father’s Day.

Ms. Carson said there was a “Founding Mothers” Campaign when the park originally was built, so The Children’s Park of Tyler wanted to include fathers for Phase II.

Aside from the “Founding Fathers” Campaign, community members also have an opportunity to have a child’s name engraved on a stone for a $250 donation, Ms. Carson said. The stones will be placed along the sidewalk in Phase II.

Plans for The Children’s Park area not only include the meditation and prayer garden and house remodel in Phase II, but also the construction of a new building next to “Alison’s House” and a new deck area, which are part of Phase III.

Ms. Carson previously said that when the park opened in 2004, no one anticipated it would be used for large events, such as weddings and the annual Day of Remembrance.

After her mother-in-law was in the hospital, she also started thinking that the park is a great place close to hospitals for families to come and process thoughts, she previously said.

Taking all of that into account, an expansion project was proposed.

Ms. Carson said earlier this month that the office and kitchen would be moved from “Alison’s House” to the new building, which also would include storage space and restrooms.

She previously said project plans also include a large deck and lawn area to accommodate weddings.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended that the City Council approve a special use permit for the use of “Alison’s House” for special events, according to the city. The City Council is scheduled to consider the special use permit on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, efforts are being made to raise the final amount for construction of the expansion project, Ms. Carson said.

She said the city has contributed money to the project, and private donations also have been made.

As of Friday, about $400,000 still was needed for the proposed project.

Ms. Carson said construction on the expansion project would begin when the remaining funds are raised.

For more information about donating, call 903-939-1597 or visitwww.childrensparktyler.org .