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Decatur to plant trees in 2 parks

By Evan Belanger · 340-2442

Take a drive to Decatur’s Jack Allen Park, and you will notice acre upon acre of lush, green grass.

But you probably won’t notice any trees — except those outside the park fence.

Since work began on the soccer facility, planners have taken care to provide the best playing area possible. They installed a state-of-the-art sprinkler system and constructed an $860,000 building for locker rooms, but no shrubs or shade trees were planted.

That’s something Decatur Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Dunlap hopes to change soon. He said workers will begin planting trees at Jack Allen Park and Ingalls Harbor in October.

Master plan

Part of the park system’s master plan, the trees are just one step in completing the two facilities, Dunlap said.

Since funding for the arbor project and other improvements comes from the park system’s general fund, Dunlap said he couldn’t be sure how many trees will be planted or when the planting will be completed, but he hopes to start pricing trees soon.

“We’ve just been doing this a little bit at a time,” he said.

On Monday, the City Council accepted $4,000 in grant money for planting trees at the two parks. On top of that, Mayor Don Kyle said Toray donated $10,000 to plant cherry trees at Jack Allen.

“These grants aren’t huge in size, but they’re worth taking out time to make the application because it allows us to plant more trees,” Kyle said.

Other improvements in store for Jack Allen Park include building a splash pad, a playground and seating pavilions. Changes at Ingalls Harbor will include building a waterfront pavilion, sidewalks and a Tennessee River museum.

Dunlap said he did not know when those additions will be completed, but he hopes they will get additional grant money.

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