A Progress reporter and a photographer took a field trip a few days after the forum to get a first-hand look. What we found were trails that are nice, despite some inclines that are a little steep and slippery from the gravel, but also a few things that might be contributing to people’s reservations about visiting.
At a recent forum for Jasper City Council candidates, Doris Wigington Park, 60-acres of trails with entrances off Gennett Drive and Lumber Company Road, surfaced as a problem.
The park, which has been given the unbecoming name “Raper Park” by nearby residents, goes largely unused. Councilmember Anne Sneve said it “has become an issue for us,” and that, “I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how we’re going to resolve that issue.”
Candidate Doug Patterson went so far as to include the park in his platform. He said people are “scared,” and called for lighting, police presence, and golf trails that connect to Arbor Hills, the large subdivision that butts up to the park. (Golf trails were part of the original phase II plan for the park and part of the mayor’s larger vision for the area, but have yet to be completed.)
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