Mullet Creek Park Nears Completion
With the ribbon cutting ceremony just a couple of months away, artists and contractors are working feverishly to put the finishing touches on the Phillippe Parkway project.
As you drive by the new Mullet Creek Park, it might look like a mass of trees, wood structures and open space right now.
But rest assured, workers are feverishly toiling to get the park ready for its official unveiling in a couple of months.
And when it all comes together, it promises to be a spectacular addition to the city park system as well as an inviting gateway into Safety Harbor.
“We're in the home stretch,” community planner Ana Mena said of the project, which started in July and is being partially funded by a federal block grant.
“January 12th will be the ribbon cutting ceremony ... and everything is coming along nicely," she added.
Joe McCoy, project manager for Augustine Construction, the company that is doing the majority of the construction as well as the irrigation in the park, is pleased with the progress as well.
"We're looking good, right on schedule," the ever-calm McCoy said. "The City and Ana have been absolutely great to work with."
“In terms of design, it’s an absolutely beautiful project,” he added. “It’s got something for everyone."
In addition to playground equipment, quiet spaces and garden areas, one aspect of the park that residents are sure to enjoy is the custom mosaic tilework that adorn the short pillars that mark the entrances and pathways in the park.
Selected from a number of applicants by the public art committee, local artists Heather Richardson and Melissa Haist spent two days last week installing their intricate designs following months of planning and preparation.
“Heather, Ana and I came up with a list of words and ideas that were centered on nature, activities and the outdoors,” said Haist, known as Mama Mosaic.
“We whittled the list down and came up with 16 words and 16 images that best reflect the park. And the words are placed in a way that they help lead people through the park.”
Indeed as you look at the placement of the tiles, you’ll notice that those on the entrances instruct visitors to “seek” and “ponder," while those along the trails suggest guests should “play,” “share” and “dream."
And the ones that face the perimeters of the park from the inside point to “nature”, and feature natural images like birds, plants, and, of course, mullet.
“I think it’s great they we were selected to do this, because we’re from this community,” said Richardson, a member of the SHAMc collective.
“Mosaic-ing is our dream job ... and we love to be able to do community based projects. So to be selected to participate in this one was awesome.”
McCoy says he will soon start working with the landscaper, Safety Harbor Landscaping, to tie the irrigation into the vegetation; after it's all in place, he will add a special finishing touch to the entrance.
"We're going to have a couple of 4,000- to 5,000-pound limerock boulders marking the entrance, with specially mounted entry signs on them," he said. "It's going to be real cool."
"People ask what this place is going to be," he added. "I tell them it's going to be a really beautiful park."