The 17-acre site located in the heart of the Borden neighborhood has a number of new and enhanced features for your enjoyment, from a newly paved and expanded walking trail, to a resurfaced basketball court, to an open space plaza for gatherings and outdoor exercise classes.
And in case you haven’t been to the park lately, you’ll also notice the new water bottle refilling stations, parking lots and disc golf baskets.
“It’s a gift to the next generation,” Kitty Frazier, manager of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, said Friday during a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the recent improvements made to the park.
The event featured activities for kids; free water bottles, pedometers and Frisbees; and a walk on the new trail with Mayor John Clark.
Funding for the new and future upgrades was made possible through a $450,000 Project Diabetes grant from the Tennessee Department of Health along with $550,000 from the city.
Hazel Osborne is 101 years old and has lived at her Lamont Street home for the past 82 years. Though the city has no official records on how old Borden Park is, Osborne said it has been there as long as she can remember.
“I used to play in the park. I love it. It’s my home,” Osborne told the mayor.
Carrie Maggard of Elizabethton has been holding yoga classes at Borden Park for a little more than a year. On Friday, she conducted a brief class near one of the playgrounds to show visitors just one of the activities taking place at the site.
“It’s gorgeous and we’ve actually talked about having some classes outside and enjoying it a little more,” Maggard said. “Now that they’re done with the construction, we’ll probably do that next year.”
Two weeks ago, Parks and Recreation employees spent a few days replacing the 20-year-old, yellow disc golf baskets with new, green ones. On Friday, several disc golfers were out enjoying the course.
“This is my course of choice, this and Warriors,” said Jason Byrd of Mount Carmel. “I came out and walked yesterday and I’m pretty happy to see what they’ve done. Everything looks fantastic. They’ve put a lot of money into it and everything looks great.”
Kingsport is planning a second and third round of enhancements at the park in 2018 and 2019. Those upgrades will add two sets of playground equipment.
Borden Park is one of the original parks from the Nolen plan, which was used to design Kingsport, and was built as the ideal buffer between the industrial zone and residential area of town.
The park is located between Lamont, Willow and Borden streets and includes a basketball court, six tennis courts, picnic shelters, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, a paved walking trail, 65 different species of trees and an 18-hole disc golf course.