Officials hope to complete renovations and upgrades to Mathews Park in Monroe by early 2022

Completion date scheduled for early 2022

Recently the City of Monroe officials gave an update on renovations and upgrades to Mathews Park. The park can be found at 1016 East Marable Street in Monroe, about 1.7 miles northeast of downtown Monroe.

The first phase of rehabilitation has been completed and includes, “additional playground equipment, benches around the lake, picnic tables, trash receptacles, grills, swings, painted pavilions, entrance signage, and a new restroom facility!” The project is funded by a portion of the 2019 Special Local Option Sales Tax  that was approved by Walton County voters!

The second phase is currently underway and will the addition of pavilions, shade structures, paving, dam repairs, as well as a restocking of the lake. It is now at the designing, bidding, ordering, and planning for the installation of the additions. According to city officials, these include “a 30′ x 60′ pavilion, the replacement of the metal awning with a 22′ x 44′ pavilion to match the style of the wooden pavilion, electricity to the pavilions, additional picnic tables (ADA accessible), grills (small and large), shade structures for the benches around the lake not shaded naturally, additional restroom facility, concrete walkways to pavilions and restrooms, decorative fencing and landscaping at roadside, paving for entrance and new parking areas.”

According to an update on the City of Monroe Facebook page on Aug. 23, “the timing of the project will be scattered as the lead times on features are sadly affected by current situations. The timing of these elements will be dependent upon the pavilion builds and restroom installation, at that point paving and walkways can be completed as weather cooperates, followed by entrance fencing and landscaping. The back parking area will be demoed and grassed as open space, and the newly renamed John Reid Memorial Disc Golf Course at Mathews Park will receive new signage reflecting distances, layouts, course name, and new starting station.”

The goal for completion is early spring of 2022, but this is based on lead times and the weather co-operating

Mathews Park is named for Dr. James Mathews, a native and former mayor of Monroe. A local optometrist, Mathews served as mayor of Monroe from 1968 to 1977. The park was commissioned in 1974 after he spearheaded a community effort to utilize the local workforce to complete the project. He partnered with Walton County soil conservationist, Julian Brown, and used contacts at the University of Georgia to source native trees for the park and establish a natural resources outdoor classroom to be used by schools and other groups. Over the years it has hosted youth camps, family reunions and fishing tournaments.

Mathews Park August 2021. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

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