Fort Oglethorpe’s “Honor Park: A Tribute to Those Who Serve” is increasingly growing into the vision Councilwoman Paula Stinnett had for it when she spearheaded its founding in 2017.
The park, says Stinnett, is intended as a place to honor those who work to keep us all safe -- members of the military, first responders and others, and as a place of tranquility and reflection for the community.
“We want it to feel like and be everyone’s park, a place everyone feels invested in,” says Stinnett.
Many local groups, businesses and individuals have already donated to and worked in the park to make it something special. They’ve cleaned up the once-swampy area designated for the park, planted memorial trees, flowers and shrubbery, placed benches and, most recently, installed and dedicated an “Honor Chair” to represent POWs and MIAs.
The next addition to the park will be 10 decorative lamp posts with LED lights along the walkway passing through the park. The lights will be funded by a $17,000 grant from North Georgia Electric Membership Corp.
“We’re so excited and thankful for this grant,” says Stinnett. “It will make Honor Park even more beautiful and safer.”
Another developing element of the park is “pocket gardens.” The public is invited to plant and maintain their own tiny gardens along the creek that runs beside the walking trail that borders the park.
There are already two pocket gardens, one planted by a Girl Scout troop and one planted by Phil and Emily Marr-Davis. Emily is the niece of Baxter Shavers, a Catoosa County deputy who was killed in the line of duty in 1978.
Stinnett says the gardens can be as small as one special plant or they can span enough space for a variety. The Girl Scout garden is around six feet wide and surrounded by rocks. The Marr-Davis garden is about two square feet of some favorite flowers.
Commemorative, engraved pavers are available for sale and will be placed around the park.
What is being done with Honor Park is different enough that Stinnett has been invited to speak to the Georgia Tree Council in November about how small municipalities can build similar places.
The park is located at the end of Cleburn St. just off Shelby St., about two blocks from the Fort Oglethorpe Fire Department, along the city’s multi-use walking trails.