Cascades Park to open March 14

The 25-acre storm water project is set to open March 14, according to the program manager of Blueprint 2000.

Cascades Park, which David Snyder calls a cleverly disguised, urban, world-class park on top of a storm water project to take care of a drainage issue that the city was having on Franklin Boulevard, is coming to its final stages.

“The contractors have been awarded the project,” Snyder said. “Blueprint will be fixing FAMU Way to Gamble Street. When the road is fixed, Blueprint will be putting asidewalk trail next to the road and a box cover in the big ditch between FAMU and the rest of the city.”

Snyder said FAMU Way will be the next blueprint piece of the FAMU Way construction and the connection route to Cascades Park. Blueprint will build a bridge that will go over South Monroe Street and connect to FAMU Way from the park.

The large ditch currently separates what used to be Shaker Heights Apartments and

Railroad Square. The underground box will carry water underground from Wahnish

Way. When the ditch is covered, a trail will connect Cascades Park to FAMU Way, and eventually there will be a connection to Saint Marks Trail that runs by Florida State University.

Tallahassee native Michael John, a state auditor who goes bike riding three times a week, is excited about the Cascades Park extension. He thinks the revision of the city will be good for everyone in the Tallahassee community.

“I love riding my bike down by the construction and by Myers Park,” John said. “When the construction is done, I’ll be able to go from FAMU Way to Cascades Park. And when the entire project is done, I’ll start riding my bike from Franklin Boulevard and make my way through the city.”

When Cascades Park is complete, it will bring an amphitheater includingtheatrical lighting and a sound system. It will seat more than 1,500 people with a grassed area to seat another 2,000 guests.

A 30-foot cascading waterfall, dog park, interactive fountain and water play area and a restaurant for dining in and out are also included in the park.

Lisa Stevenson, a stay-at-home mom who lives in the Cascades Park area, said she and her 8-year-old son, Kyle, walk around the park at least twice a week just to see the progress.

“I know once the park is done, it’ll bring a lot of traffic and noise, especially on the weekends,” Stevenson said. “But my family and I hope to enjoy everything it has to offer because we are outdoors kind of people.”