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Liberty Park opens to waiting Clarksvillians

 

Liberty Park - Clarksville MarinaClarksville, TN – Liberty Park opened yesterday morning at dawn and Clarksvillians were ready and waiting for the opening of the park areas of the new Clarksville Marina.

Fishermen were the first on hand. They had been eying the pond for months looking forward for the chance to be one of the first anglers to try their luck there. By 10:00am around 20 anglers had staked out their positions around the banks.

Some young fishermen getting ready to try their luck at the Liberty Park pond.

Some young fishermen getting ready to try their luck at the Liberty Park pond.

Georgia James was fishing with George Northington, they had been eagerly looking forward to the new Liberty Park for months. “See we used to come all the time and were very very disappointed when the original lake was closed for the construction. We had to go down to Trices Landing, ain’t nothing wrong with that place but it just doesn’t have the comforts of this. All the rocks, and getting down there and everything; this is heaven sent. We had a nice catch. We caught a legal bass, good sized cat fish, crappie, everything is in here. It’s well stocked.”

Darrell Cumo shows off his catch.

Darrell Cumo shows off his catch.

Darrell Cumo arrived at 7:00am and was still fishing at 6:00pm. He had an amazing catch. I caught a few catfish in here. A couple of them are four pounds, a few of two pounders, some a pound an a half. I love it! I am not leaving! They will have to run me off. I have been fishing all my life. I am a Cajun. I plan on frying and eating my catch. You will be able find my house by following the smell of frying catfish tonight.

Darrell had spoken with Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan when she went through the park on opening day, “She came out here and asked if we were enjoying ourself. I told her yes everything was good.” he also showed her his catch, “She saw some of the fish. She got splashed as a matter of fact! Got some fish juice on her,” he said laughing.

Mayor McMillan had released a statement on the opening of Liberty Park, “We are thrilled that the day is here when we can allow the public to use most of these incredible facilities. The boat ramps have seen significant use already as has the marina basin. Now, more of the park will be available for fishing, walking, picnicking and all kinds of outdoor fun.”

Two dogs enjoy running at the Libery Park Dog Park.

Two dogs enjoy running at the Libery Park Dog Park.

At the Dog Park I watched a man exercising his two dogs. He would stomp the ground and the two dogs would take off running like crazy, one kept flopping over on his back to roll in the grass. The dogs also tried out the new three tier drinking fountain which has spots for adults, children, and their dogs to drink from. The Bark Park is currently open to the public until the new gate hardware is installed.

After that owners will have to register their dogs at the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department offices and get a keyfob which will allow them entry to the park. This is being done to help limit the risk of the spread of possible disease in canines in Montgomery County and to reduce the number of aggressive dog incidents, the City of Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department will be requiring proof that the animals have their Rabies vaccination, parvovirus vaccination, distemper vaccination, and be spayed or neutered.

Over at the pavilion by the new Dog park I found a family having a picnic with BBQ from Whitt’s Barbecue, and spoke with 15 year old Trevor Compton who was selected by the family as their official spokesman.

I asked him what he thought of the new park. “Its beautiful! We met some of our best friends at that playground before the flood.” Another family member added “Our family from California are visiting Clarksville and we wanted to bring them out to see the new park before they head back home.”

At the Clarksville Rotary Club’s Where Imagination Flows Playground I found five mothers part of the larger “Library Playgroup” meeting with their toddlers.

Mothers with the Library Playgroup were meeting with their toddlers at the Clarksville Rotary Club’s Where Imagination Flows Playground.

Mothers with the Library Playgroup were meeting with their toddlers at the Clarksville Rotary Club’s Where Imagination Flows Playground.

According to Kim Chandler, “We all met through the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library’s Baby & Me program, and when the program went in hiatus for the summer we wanted to keep meeting; so we just kept going every week to the library. Eventually we started adding in some get togethers at area parks. We all have children under 15 months, and they are too little for the big kid playgrounds, so liberty park toddler area was a really nice place to take them.”

The group plans to meet at Liberty Park again next week. The Library Playgroup is composed of about 13 moms, and meets at 9:30am on most Thursdays at the Public Library.

Kim said she is really looking forward to having a chance to trying out the Walking paths at Liberty Park sometime soon.

Chanel Lemon, Nikki Edney, Kayla Edney, and Cheryl Lemon were out enjoying the walking path at Liberty Park.

Chanel Lemon, Nikki Edney, Kayla Edney, and Cheryl Lemon were out enjoying the walking path at Liberty Park.

On the Walking path I found a athletic group of young women exercising. They were Chanel Lemon, Nikki Edney, Kayla Edney, and Cheryl Lemon. Cheryl did most of the talking for the group, “I like the new park. I like the fact that they have expanded the fishing park and it has some areas around there that are new and different.  I like the marina part, I like the new dog park even though I haven’t used it yet. Overall I would give it a B-.” When asked what is was that reduced her overall grade she said “I miss the (walking path) loop from the old park,  I sorta liked  that. I guess that’s the biggest thing.”

Overall the reception to the first day of the park being open was overwhelmingly positive. I can’t wait till the rest of it is ready for use.

On June 9th TWRA and the Clarksville Department of Parks and Recreation will be holding a Youth Fishing Rodeo at the Liberty Park lake for kids. The Lake will be freshly stocked and there will be plenty of fish to catch.

No license is required since Saturday, June 9th is also the 2012 Free Fishing Day in Tennessee when anyone in the state may fish free without a license in Tennessee’s public waters so bring out the kids for a wonderful time.

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