It’s been a little more than seven months since veterans and volunteers in Fort Oglethorpe started coming together in an attempt to create a park to honor veterans, and now that project is flourishing way ahead of schedule.

When City Councilwoman Paula Stinnett spearheaded the effort in October, she pointed out that the project could take three to four years to fully develop. Since establishing the Veteran’s Council in November, the group has made diligent strides in developing the park faster than planned.

“This park has a three-year goal. We set the goal in place, and we’re already well into year two and we’ve only been working on this since October,” Stinnett said

During its most recent meeting Thursday night, May 10, the Veteran and Citizen Council approved plans for ground cover plants that’ll be planted in the park, discussed commemorative pavers that’ll be installed, and accepted yet another sponsorship from a local business.

“It’s overwhelming the number of partners we’ve obtained, and the number of sponsors,” Stinnett said.

During the meeting, officials with Community National Bank were on hand to present the effort with a check for a $1,800 sponsorship.

That sponsorship will cover the cost of the park’s planned tree markers that will be placed at the foot of nine trees recognizing and signifying wars that have taken place.

In addition to the tree markers, the council approved five-pointed gold star sedum plants to act as groundcover through areas of the park.

“Those gold star five-pointed flowers will be in our Star Garden for wives and mothers, who too made ultimate sacrifices,” Stinnett said.

Another ongoing effort for the park is the sale of granite pavers that are available for anyone looking to honor a veteran in the park.

The pavers, which are 12 inches by 12 inches and 2 inches thick, are available to honor military veterans as well as first responders such as fire, police, EMT, etc. The pavers are $150 each, and council officials say they wanted to do something bigger, better, and longer-lasting than a standard brick.

“We wanted to go the extra mile to have permanence and something enduring that could essentially contain a lot of information,” Stinnett said. “Honor Park is a tribute to those who serve, and our park is for all those who serve.”

The park is located on Cleburn Street off Shelby Street, across from the Post Office.

“This is a tranquil place,” Stinnett said. “We have three benches to sit on; a stream that goes through. … It’s a place of peace, harmony, and tranquility.”

Those interested in learning more about the park or how to get involved with it can attend the Veteran and Citizen Council meetings the first Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at Fort Oglethorpe City Hall.

The group also has a Facebook page with the latest meeting news and volunteer information.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.