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Big Spring Park Reopens after $2 Million Renovation

Published on April 19, 2017

Nine months of major renovations to Big Spring Park are complete, giving residents an opportunity to celebrate spring in a dramatically improved urban oasis.

The $2 million renovation to the City’s most popular park included a host of infrastructure repairs and upgrades – replacing crumbling seawalls, improving pedestrian connectivity, new lighting and electrical, fountains, and more. To save money and time, the City performed half of the work with in-house crews. The clock was ticking and the park needed to be ready in time for the annual Panoply festival of the arts.

“We are extremely proud of the teamwork involved in bringing this park back to the high standard our residents deserve,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “Big Spring Park is the City’s living room. It is where everyone comes to show off Huntsville. Today, we give it back to our community to enjoy for decades to come.”

The City renovated Big Spring Park East in 2016 and noticed a dramatic increase in usage by residents. The park project on the west side of Church Street was a joint effort between the City of Huntsville’s departments of Public Works, Engineering, Landscape Management, General Services, and private contractor Miller and Miller. The project was designed by OMI, Garver Engineers, and Tetra Tech with landscape design provided by Landscape Management.

Major Improvements

  • Stabilized deteriorating seawalls and soils adjacent to the pond
  • Better pedestrian connectivity
  • Improved landscaping, irrigation, lighting and decorative park fixtures
  • Increased public greenspace by approximately 1.25 acres
  • Improve water quality in the pond
  • Constructed two additional pedestrian crossings across the canal near Williams Avenue. Patrons may walk around the pond without going up and over Monroe Bridge
  • Restored and upgraded freedom Monument (Eternal Flame) and relocated flag pole adjacent to monument
  • Installed new landscape buffer adjacent to parking garage
  • Constructed three plaza areas for special events and patrons to congregate
  • Upgraded electrical and lighting throughout park, which includes new tree and park lighting, additional power panels, food truck connections, and convenience power outlets at benches
  • Upgraded fountains with lights in west lagoon, added a fountain in the east lagoon, and a water feature near Church Street to help improve water quality in the pond
  • Replaced and upgraded approximately 5,000 linear feet of cracked and dilapidated sidewalks
  • Renovated and relocated gazebo
  • Added steps down to water’s edge on south side of Japanese bridge
  • Grain feeders for ducks

                                                                     Photo by Jeff White

Keeping the Park Clean and Healthy

Visitors to the park will notice how clean it is – especially the water. Patrons can help keep the park clean by throwing trash in the garbage cans and by limiting their feeding of urban wildlife. Animal Services Director Dr. Karen Sheppard encourages everyone to use the grain feeders around the pond instead of bringing bread, popcorn, crackers or cereal to feed the ducks and fish.

“For just 25 cents, you get a handful of grain –just the right amount for our waterfowl,” said Dr. Sheppard. “It is healthier for the animals and reduces byproduct as a result of overfeeding. This is a special place, and with the public’s help, we can keep it clean for people and ducks and enjoy our urban wildlife in their natural habitat.”

WATCH: A conversation and tour of the Big Spring Park renovations with City Administrator John Hamilton 

VIEW:  Photos of Big Spring Park by Bob Gathany at AL.com