Chamber Connect luncheon hears from Roy Oliver about Chason Park

Published 3:00 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

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Members of the Chamber of Commerce gathered at the Kirbo Center on Thursday for this month’s Chamber Connect luncheon. The main speaker for the event was assistant city manager Roy Oliver, who addressed the attendees about the progress being made on the Chason Park expansion project.

“Over the years, the mayor, city council, and city staff have attended different workshops and training conferences, and we’re often asked, ‘What is your city’s greatest asset?’” Oliver said. “Our answer has always been, ‘The people, and the Flint River that runs through the city.’”

The goal with the expansion project, part of the city’s riverfront master plan, is as Oliver put it, to “connect citizens and visitors with the Flint, by showcasing the short walk from downtown to the river.” This project will include improved foot traffic connection between Willis Park and Chason Park. It consists of several phases, with the first phase installing a handicap-accessible ramp in 2019. Phase two involved installing the enormous staircase that connects the park with the river walk below, while phase three consists of the main park expansion. When completed, the park will include a pavilion modeled after the courthouse clocktower, playgrounds both for younger and older children, restrooms, and a splash pad. Aspects of the river and local ecosystem are being worked into the park’s design, including wooden carvings of local wildlife in parts of the playground, as well as path tiles featuring footprints of local wildlife. The Chason Park expansion is projected to be completed by the end of August.

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Oliver concluded by taking questions from the audience, and the luncheon ended with raffling door prizes.