Ring­gold dis­cussing Na­ture Trail plans, De­pot land­scap­ing up­grades

The Catoosa County News - - COMMENTARY - By Adam Cook

Ring­gold City Coun­cil re­cently ap­proved pre­lim­i­nary plans to up­grade both its ex­ist­ing na­ture trail and land­scap­ing around the his­toric Ring­gold De­pot.

Dur­ing a work ses­sion and sub­se­quent coun­cil meet­ing on Mon­day night, March 13, Mayor Nick Mill­wood and the coun­cil looked over early draw­ings of the sec­ond phase of the Trail of Tears along the his­toric Na­ture Trail be­hind the city’s Recre­ational Park on Em­ber­son Drive.

Over the past three years, the city has made ad­just­ments to the Recre­ational Com­plex, added a ca­noe launch along Chicka­mauga Creek, and com­pleted the first phase of the Trail of Tears.

Now, City Man­ager Dan Wright says the city could be­gin this lat­est up­grade later this year as it con­tin­ues it progress with At­lantabased land­scape and de­sign firm KAIZEN Col­lab­o­ra­tive.

“These are the pre­lim­i­nary plans,” Wright said. “Greta deMayo (KAIZEN Col­lab­o­ra­tive founder and land­scape ar­chi­tect) is try­ing to get the plans to the point where she can start with per­mit­ting and get­ting bid pack­ets to­gether so we can get some good bids in, and hope­fully get con­struc­tion started this year.”

The coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the plans, which will add an­other el­e­ment to the ex­ist­ing trail.

“I think the de­sign is great,” said Mill­wood. “I like the way it looks with the park­ing and the new con­crete all the way from our wooden bridge past the re­cent ex­ten­sion and around the water plant. I’m just very ex­cited about it.”

The coun­cil also ap­proved the Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Bureau’s (CVB) pro­posal to redo some of the land­scap­ing at the city’s his­toric De­pot.

“The cur­rent land­scape at the De­pot has been there for a num­ber of years and a lot of the plants there have lived their life,” Wright said. “The CVB has been talk­ing about what we need to do to keep it look­ing like it needs to.”

Wright said there’s a lot of set­tled top­soil that has now be­come a trip­ping haz­ard, and places where the land­scap­ing has com­pletely out­grown the area and looks re­ally bad.

Mem­bers of the De­sign Stu­dio with the De­part­ment of Com­mu­nity Af­fairs re­cently ex­am­ined the fa­cil­ity and rec­om­mended changes.

“Grad­u­ate stu­dents and ar­chi­tects rec­om­mended re­mov­ing some bushes and putting grass along some of the side­walks,” Wright said. “They’re also look­ing at re­mov­ing some bushes and things that cur­rently block the De­pot. We’re also look­ing at plac­ing Dog­wood trees as book­ends to both sides of the De­pot. We want to make it more pic­turesque so that when peo­ple come, it’ll re­ally get their at­ten­tion. We’ve put a lot of money into the fa­cil­ity, and we’re go­ing to, hope­fully some­time this year, be re­do­ing the deck­ing up there too as part of our over­all im­prove­ments.”

Mayor Mill­wood also ap­plauded the CVB’s re­cent and con­tin­u­ous ef­forts to keep the De­pot area look­ing beau­ti­ful.

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