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Newborn planning public park

NEWBORN - The small town of Newborn will soon have a public park.

Plans are underway to create a park on about 2 acres to the west of Town Hall along Ga. Highway 142, according to Mayor Roger Sheridan. The town purchased a portion of the property several years ago and an additional acre was donated by a citizen who wishes to remain anonymous.

The park will be funded through $100,000 in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenues allocated to Newborn for parks and recreation, Sheridan said.

Students at the University of Georgia's Metropolitan Design Studio in Clark's Grove will design the park. A public meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30 at Town Hall.

"We want as many people as can come to come," Sheridan said. "We want the input from the town."

About 10 students from the University of Georgia's College of Environment and Design are working on the project, said Lecturer Donnie Longenecker, who is supervising the process.

The students are residing and working at the design studio in Clark's Grove in Covington for 10 weeks and taking on several local design projects.

"It really provides them with some real world experience and interaction with the community," Longenecker said. "They get to roll up their sleeves and dive in and get really acclimated to what it's like to practice landscape architecture."

Sheridan has also asked the students to help spruce up the Historic Newborn Schoolhouse. Sheridan said he'd like to see improved landscaping and perhaps a small park area there.

"Even in these tough times, that kind of thing keeps the town together. The more we do something like this and the people are not getting slapped with an increase in taxes, that's great," he said.

Utilizing the students is "saving the town a great deal of money," he added.

Following completion of the master plan, the park will be created over the next few years as SPLOST revenues are available, he said.