Top 5 Reclaimed Macon Parks

Macon has an advantage over other cities in Georgia.  With the widest streets and longest sidewalks, Macon is the richest city in the universe for parks, park slides and park possibilities.  Here are the Top 5 parks Macon is using to reclaim the slogan "City in a Park."

1.  Tattnall square park

The park was named for Josiah Tattnall who led forces against insurrectionary slaves and against the Creeks.  The park was first laid out in the mid-1850ʼs but was a large field until 1873. In 1918, townsfolk planted many trees, and eventually they installed a fountain and a wading pool. The park was intended for white people only until the park was integrated in 1963, and since then has been used by everyone. Recently, a dedicated grassroots effort has been underway, devoted to improving Macon’s Tattnall Square Park.   In 2012, with many of the trees nearing the end of their life-spans, and the fountain and wading pool gone, many joined together with neighbors and Mercer University, and supported by several grants, started work to revitalize the park.

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2.  amerson river park

After experiencing the wonders of the public trail systems throughout the parks and mountaintops of Colorado, Chris Sheridan and the late Ben Porter, two business men in Macon, passionate about the city’s revitalization, began brainstorming about how to create Middle Georgia’s own trail system along the Ocmulgee River.  Amerson River Park contains 180 acres of pristine forests, meadows, and wetlands surrounded by a river oxbow. However, Amerson River Park is more than just a beautiful place to admire nature. From a state-of-the-art playground to a canoe launch, the Park offers exciting amenities that families, adventurous outdoorsmen, and nature lovers will enjoy.

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3.  Washington park

At the outset, Washington Park was prized mainly as the sole source of city water.  The park itself, a natural amphitheater alongside the slope of Magnolia Street and College Street is bordered on three sides by a running stream was officially named for James H.R. Washington, one of the city's earliest Mayors.  In the early part of the century Washington Park had concrete benches where audiences could sit surrounded by the rustic beauty of waterfalls, flowers and pools for wading and swimming.  In 1929, a city beautification program, thanks in part to the administration of Macon Mayor G. Glen Toole, allowed more attention to city parks.  In 2008, established with a grant to Mercer University from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, College Hill Alliance began their signature event in Washington Park called Second Sunday.  Second Sunday occurs every second Sunday of the month, from April through October, and one of the best community picnics in Macon featuring live music in beautiful Washington Park.

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4.  coleman hill

Coleman Hill was originally known as Cowles Hill.  Jerry Cowles was one of Macon’s leading financiers during the early days of Macon’s history.  In 1836, he bought 4 acres of land at the top of the hill for his residence.  The hill below the house remained as city property and was later extended and remained city property.  In 1883, the Joseph Marshall Johnston home was built on Coleman Hill and was later razed in 1954 for the INA (Insurance Co. of North America) building, a replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall in 1955.  Coleman Hill also boasts a tunnel (which really was nothing more than a drain) that leads from the Hay House and Woodruff House and exits at the bottom of Coleman Hill.  These old tunnels were once used to reroute streams and were early sewers.

5.  third street park

The median strip between Walnut and Poplar Streets was an early mall or promenade that came back to life during the burgeoning of the Cherry Blossom Festival.  In fact, the planting of the dual rows of Yoshino cherry trees donated by local realtor William Fickling Sr., led to the gift by the YKK Company of an authentic Japanese stone lantern, placed at the Mulberry Street end and the restoration of an old fountain, which was installed at the lower ending side of Cherry Street.  During community celebrations, a bandstand is often erected in the median across the park.

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