Why is a park outside the city?


Published: Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Bill Feaster couldn't help but notice the park - a sliver of land jutting into Newnans Lake at its deepest point - during practices with the youth rowing club he coaches.

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Feaster

Facts

Who wants to know?

  • * Name: Bill Feaster


  • * Age: 61


  • * Occupation: Youth rowing coach


  • * Residence: Gainesville&

Feaster, 61, of Gainesville, came to appreciate the park even more over the years, as it became a great place for parents to see their kids rowing up close during an annual race the club sponsors.

He said he's long been curious about the city park - mostly about why it's a city park at all, being that the land is not within city limits - so he addressed his question to Since You Asked.

Ann Egan, nature manager for the city of Gainesville, said Palm Point Park, off of Lake Shore Drive on the west shore of Newnans Lake, is one of many pieces of land auired by the city for use as a park before the land was actually part of the city.

Egan said the city frequently buys property for parks located near but not inside current city limits in anticipation of the land being annexed in the future.

For example, Egan said, the city just last year annexed Broken Arrow Bluff, a city park located near Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, though it had purchased the land in the 1990s.

Egan said Palm Point Park became a city park many years ago, and said she didn't know how the transaction happened.

But she said she's glad the city took the opportunity to make a park out of the peninsula, which is now a nationally known spot for bird-watching and a locally loved spot for bank-fishing.

"It's one of most spectacular places on the city side of Newnans Lake," Egan said. "It's a point that juts way out into the lake, and because of that, a lot of migratory birds land there. It was a very important piece of property to preserve."

Feaster said he's glad the land is a city park, too.

"The city has been very gracious during our race in October to put bleachers out there so spectators can see when boats go around the park," Feaster said. "It's the only place where the water's deep enough for the boats to come so close to shore, so it's one of the best opportunities for parents I know of to see their kids competing up close. Palm Point Park is a very special place to me."

Amy Reinink can be reached at 352-374-5088 or reinina@gvillesun.com.

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