Brookfield Park in west Augusta is one of the city's most popular neighborhood parks, unique for its splash fountain and new pavilion.
"The fountain's very popular, and we've already had so many phone calls about people wanting to use this picnic area," said Joanie Smith, Richmond County Recreation Department facilities and aquatics manager.
The large pavilion, completed about a month ago, can't be reserved ahead of time.
"It's first come, first served," Ms. Smith said.
And people are good about sharing the space, said Roger Wexler, the aquatics supervisor.
"There could be two or three parties going on at this pavilion," he said. "We have two gazebos, and a lot of times people will just take one of the gazebos if they just have five or six young people."
In addition to the pavilion and splash fountain that shoots a column of water 10 to 15 feet high, Brookfield Park also has a one-third mile walking track, restrooms, two playgrounds, a putting green, playing fields, grills and at least a dozen new picnic tables.
"You can come out here any time, and you might see a Frisbee football game going on or a soccer game going out in the field," Mr. Wexler said. "There could be people walking around the track. There could be birthday parties going on, kids playing on both of the playgrounds. We also have a little putting green also that people utilize. There's a tremendous amount of activities out here for everybody."
But none is more popular than the fountain, Ms. Smith said.
"We have a lot of organized groups that want to bring the kids out during the summer for the fountain," she said. "They can splash in it. They can picnic, and they can play on the play equipment."
The 6.54-acre park is at 2740 Mayo Road, near River Watch Parkway. It was built with $1.2 million in special-purpose sales tax money, 15 years after Fran Stewart and the Brookfield Neighborhood Association began petitioning the Richmond County Commission and then the consolidated government for a park.
As president of the neighborhood association, Mrs. Stewart began the drive to get a park for that part of west Augusta after realizing River Watch Parkway would take away one of the neighborhood's entrances.
"I was hoping there would be some 'uneconomic remainder' of land, but after the Department of Transportation got through, there was no uneconomic remainder, so I went to the county commissioners," she said.
Finally, in 1996, a committee of Recreation Director Tom Beck, Bill Kuhlke and Mrs. Stewart was charged with finding land for a park.
"That's when I believed it would become a reality," she said.
Mrs. Stewart later lobbied for $50,000 more in the fifth sales-tax issue and is hoping to get enough money from the next phase to complete the tennis courts and get better lighting.
Initially, the association wanted a community building, but Mrs. Stewart said residents realized it would take years to get one, so they settled for the pavilion, which has turned out to be a great success.
Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHERE: 2740 Mayo Road
SIZE: 6.54 acres
HOURS: Daylight to 11 p.m.
FEATURES: Splash fountain, pavilion, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, gazebos, walking track, putting green, playgrounds, field
PERSONNEL: Not supervised
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