Founder’s Park by any other name just wouldn’t do on Thursday when city commissioners voted unanimously to christen the $2.8 million, 5-acre greenspace along State of Franklin Road — Founder’s Park.
The city began by going to schoolchildren and letting them suggest names. From that large batch, three groups pick their top 20 choices: city staff, Johnson City Development Authority/Friends of Ole Downtown and the Public Art Committee.
These were then merged to a final 17 choices. The names were then make available to the public in the form of an online survey in which they picked their top three choices. The top vote-getter was “Blue Plum Greenway.” Founder’s Park was not far behind, ranking third.
The site is somewhat of a launching pad for flood remediation and downtown revitalization. It has in the past been labeled Warehouse Commons and later Founder’s Park. The very visible project is taking shape between Wilson Avenue, Main and Commerce streets and the Norfolk Southern Railway tracks.
Brush Creek will meander through the park and include three waterfalls with the last one cascading into an area at the end of the park that then will be funneled under the railroad tracks. The park is being funded by stormwater fee revenues.
This initial phase of the city’s $30 million long-range flood mitigation plan also is being built to please the eye and invite private interests to think twice before deciding on another community in which to invest.