Pendleton King Park offers nearby refuge

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If you're tired of the hustle and bustle of Masters Week and want to get away from it all for a while, you can find refuge at Pendleton King Park, a short distance from almost anywhere in Augusta.

Kun Xie tries to fly a kite at Pendleton King Park. The 64-acre park is maintained by volunteers.  Jim Blaylock/Staff
Jim Blaylock/Staff
Kun Xie tries to fly a kite at Pendleton King Park. The 64-acre park is maintained by volunteers.

The park was designated as a 64-acre bird sanctuary by Henry Barclay King in honor of his son John Pendleton King II, who died in 1919. It is a passive park, now owned by the trustees of the King family, who lease it to the city for $1 a year.

The park originally was a plantation and was purchased from the Bugg family by the first John Pendleton King before his marriage in 1842. The house burned in the early 1900s and was never rebuilt.

For many years, the property was run down and children played in the ruins of the plantation house, according to Kay and Tom Mills, members of the Pendleton King Commission, which oversees the park, and Friends of Pendleton, a group of master gardeners, garden club members and volunteers who have made major improvements to the park.

The park is on different levels, with various gardens maintained by volunteers and the city. Once you enter through the wrought iron gates, you may wander through the park's formal garden, a touch and smell garden, a hydrangea garden, a sculpture garden, an azalea walk, two camellia gardens and an arboretum.

Or you might enjoy sitting on a picnic bench and gazing at Lake Elizabeth.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

Take a break at Pendleton Park, once a plantation, then a bird sanctuary, now full of gardens maintained by volunteers. These are the multiple level of gardens found at the park.

THE BLUE GARDEN: The blue garden is a parterre beside the gazebo by entrance and near the site of the original plantation house. The Green Court Garden Club keeps the garden, according to Kay Mills, a member of the Pendleton King Commission.

The city recently renovated the gazebo and replaced its columns, she said.

TOUCH AND SMELL GARDEN: The garden, designed by landscape architect Roger Davis, was dedicated to Eugenia Lehmann, the 100-year-old niece of Henry King, in 2005. In the middle, around raised flower beds, is a large fountain graced by a statue of a young girl that was found on the grounds.

The area has statues of the four seasons and is filled with flowering plants and herbs, including iris, azaleas, hostas, violas, lantanas, Spanish bells, plumbago and acubas.

HYDRANGEA GARDEN: The hydrangea garden was designed, dug and planted by volunteers who raised money for a commemorative brick wall and wrought iron gate. Volunteers also built the pergola, installed an irrigation system and planted 70 varieties of hydrangeas, about 400 in all. In each of the garden's corners are crape myrtle trees originally in bicentennial park in downtown, Mrs. Mills said.

"At some point, they were put down in the bottom of the park, and they were in pots and in terrible shape, but they were beautiful," Mrs. Mills said. "That's when Derek Vanover was working for trees and landscaping, and we asked if we could have them for the garden."

PICNICS, PLAYGROUNDS AND A SCULPTURE GARDEN: The park has picnic benches and two new playgrounds paid for by the Junior League of Augusta and a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the CSRA.

Grants also made possible the sculpture garden, which was designed and built by fourth- and fifth-graders from Monte Sano Elementary School.

With names such as Beak of Woodpecker and Wing of Crow, the metal sculptures are in an American Indian theme.

CEMETERY, TRAILS AND DISC GOLF: The Bugg family cemetery, surrounded by a brick wall, was restored by members of the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs. One of the gravestones bears the name of James Carter of South Carolina, who died on Sept. 17, 1780.

The park also has nature trails that are great for bird watching, Mrs. Mills said, and a disc golf course where people play rain or shine.

The Jim Stutts Camellia Garden was dedicated in 2005. The Walter A. Wilson Camellia Garden, dedicated in 1990, has a fountain carved from one piece of stone, salvaged from Allen Park at 15th Street.

"The park is used by all socioeconomic groups, which is very representative of Augusta," Mrs. Mills said. "But it's a passive park. We don't have basketball. It's a bird sanctuary, a place to come and be peaceful."

-- Sylvia Cooper, staff writer


ABOUT THE PARK
WHERE: Located a half-mile south of Wrightsboro Road on Troupe Street
DAYS: Seven days a week
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Comments (22) Add comment
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TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 04/10/08 - 05:59 am
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Don't forget about the old
Unpublished

Don't forget about the old men having sex in the bushes.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/10/08 - 06:36 am
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TrukinRanger, surely you

TrukinRanger, surely you could have referred to them as "volunteer tour guides" or "shy elderly gentlemen" or something a little more imaginative. I believe the previous mention of them said they were "soliciting homosexual encounters". IMHO, you could use some work on your style.

ThurstonHowell
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ThurstonHowell 04/10/08 - 07:10 am
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I can't believe their trying

I can't believe their trying to get out of towners to go to PKP. How bout stop at some rest areas on the way. LOL

christian134
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christian134 04/10/08 - 07:57 am
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That is one park I will not

That is one park I will not venture into as I have a problem with the park and it occupants....People having sex in the bushes tend to be a major turn off in my book......Doesn't exactly scream out at the people to "come one come all to a beautiful serene area for kids, young and old, relax and have some fun" type place.....:-)

karmakills123
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karmakills123 04/10/08 - 08:26 am
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lol......................

lol......................

dougmo
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dougmo 04/10/08 - 08:28 am
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Is there a old tank still in

Is there a old tank still in there that smells of urine?

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 04/10/08 - 08:53 am
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PKP is nicer now that it was

PKP is nicer now that it was back in the 1980s. If the kind of antisocial and perverse behavior that has gone on there is reported whenever it is seen, the loud, the obnoxious and the weird will start finding some other place to express themselves.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 04/10/08 - 09:08 am
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It used to be a beautiful

It used to be a beautiful park; it should be lovely this time of year. Maybe if families would use it more while carefully supervising their children and immediately reporting anything suspicious, it would discourage people with inappropriate agendas.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 04/10/08 - 09:09 am
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I want to thank the trustees

I want to thank the trustees for leasing it to the city for $1 per year. What a lovely thing to do.

a.non.ymous
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a.non.ymous 04/10/08 - 09:32 am
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The police have done a good

The police have done a good job of ridding the park of unwanted visitors, it is a lovely place to take your kids.

barchafin
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barchafin 04/10/08 - 10:35 am
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Why not visit the motel on

Why not visit the motel on Gordon Highway across from where the Garden City Bowling Alley was. they have a nice privacy fence.

weekapaug05
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weekapaug05 04/10/08 - 10:43 am
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There's always a park

There's always a park official on duty there patroling in his truck, and I've noticed that police have been making more patrols around the park resently. I play disc golf there about once a week and it really is a nice park.

wise
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wise 04/10/08 - 11:14 am
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They have a lot of nice new

They have a lot of nice new play grounds. Just stay out of the bathrooms and the woods.

sickandtired
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sickandtired 04/10/08 - 12:38 pm
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Some people simply need to

Some people simply need to let the past be and move on. Please. Pendleton King Park is a lovely park and I think it is awesome that the trustees lease it to the city for 1$ a year. Philanthropy at its best. And if you havent been by to see any of the gardens tended there you are surely missing out!

To compare going to this park to going to the Parliament House. Shameful. Certainly not someone who appreciates nature.

Rose
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Rose 04/10/08 - 01:21 pm
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My daughter takes her kids

My daughter takes her kids there often. she says it is a beautiful park and there is always security there. I told her to report any suspicious behavior.

Jen2803
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Jen2803 04/10/08 - 01:50 pm
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What a wonderful place to

What a wonderful place to encourage our Masters guests to go and relax!!! You should have just said if you're looking into picking up a prostitute then Pendleton King Park is the place to take her to handle your business. I personally have taken my two kids and walked up on a man and woman having sex in the sensory garden!!!! I wouldn't let my dog walk one foot into that stinkin' place!!!!

Jen2803
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Jen2803 04/10/08 - 01:52 pm
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Sorry the "Touch and Feel

Sorry the "Touch and Feel garden" wow wonder why it's called that it certainly doesn't stand for touching and feeling the water and flowers.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 04/10/08 - 02:42 pm
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I just left there, a family

I just left there, a family was taking pictures in that garden. It looked like a father and son were playing that frisbee game. A family was having a picnic at the gazebo. And the flowers were very pretty, but not as in abundance as we had hoped, there was very nice landscaping to add to the appeal, though. Not too crowded, but just busy enough to not feel isolated. My daughter and I just spent a few minutes there, but it was a nice break.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 04/10/08 - 04:08 pm
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I was there one recent

I was there one recent weekend and it seemed nice still. There were families and kids there. I saw no bad activities, though I did not travel down the walking paths too far. I did go up onto the animal viewing thing they built, and regreted not having my camera handy, since I saw some birds and squirrels up close.

sjgraci
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sjgraci 04/10/08 - 04:31 pm
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Most of these sheltered bed

Most of these sheltered bed wetters have never been to Central Park. Masters' guests know that parks everywhere attract all types. They don't have time to see how nice Pendleton is. Besides, they are already at the nicest park in the World. And don't think that there has not been some questionable behavior going on in the bushes there.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 04/10/08 - 10:06 pm
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Me and my kids play disc golf

Me and my kids play disc golf there. I think you have to be aware of your surroundings everywhere you go. I recently heard on one of the local news channels about all the places these men meet. Guess hotels are not popular anymore lol.

gnx
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gnx 04/11/08 - 12:49 am
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Don't take your small ones to

Don't take your small ones to the duck pond. They'll learn an entirely new meaning to the phrase 'duck duck goose goose'. My daughter took her baby there just a couple weeks ago and had the misfortune of seeing just a little more going on over there than she wanted to. Seems sex in the city is still alive and well.

evans36
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evans36 04/11/08 - 10:23 pm
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Ole Picklesmooch park.

Ole Picklesmooch park.

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