Established in the 1950’s, Hunter Park had become a forgotten green space. The 1.5 acre park hosted a Farmer’s Market and featured an open lawn with beautiful stands of oak trees, several benches and a small fountain converted into a planter. The site had great potential as a community gathering space.
The Town wished to redevelop Hunter Park in honor of our nation’s veterans. The existing benches, walkways and wood gazebo were worn, broken and in decay; a small fountain built in the 1950’s was no longer functional. Drainage was an issue in the open areas, the lawn was weedy and in poor condition; the existing irrigation system, lighting and electrical receptacles for events were in disrepair. Several trees were overgrown and in decline. Visitor parking was very limited and inconveniently located on an adjacent street.
Utilizing the high visibility from the roadway, a memorial fountain plaza was proposed at the northern point of the park, near the main intersection. Single and two tiered fountains were explored, with a central five sided monument to represent the five branches of the military. Places for reflection, dedication plaques and donor pavers were integrated within the plaza. We envisioned expanding the open lawn by removing hazardous trees and overgrown landscape. Redesigning the walkways would help define activity areas, and provide easy access into the park. A new irrigation system would help to maintain turf during drought conditions and electrical upgrades would help enhance lighting at Town events. Angled parking could be included in a wide section of curb grass on one side of the park.
A two tiered fountain delivers a stoic persona to memorial plaza, enhancing its presence from the road. The lower pool’s circular design encourages relaxed, tranquil strolling around the memorial. The upper pool, consisting of five spillways and bubbler jets, reflecting the five sides of the granite center features, with each face honoring one of the five military branches. One Flag from each branch encircles the plaza with our Nation’s flag displayed in the center of the memorial entry.
A large grassed plaza is defined by new walkways and small area for a future bandstand for outdoor concerts in the park.
Walks were carefully located to utilize the stands of majestic oaks, and benches were added under the shade of their canopy. New entrances to the park were located at crosswalks and made ADA compliant. Pedestrian pathway lights and oak tree uplighting increases evening security and provides a pleasant ambiance.
Hunter Memorial Park was transformed from a forgotten space to an active gathering area and home to the Town’s annual Veteran’s Day celebration and annual Holiday Parade and Party.
“The conversion of Hunter Memorial Park transformed a forgotten green space into a Town centerpiece and cornerstone for the future of Belleair parks.” ~ Town of Belleair
“Residents of Belleair watched as a dream became a reality and the town got a signature centerpiece that honors the military in a locations that can’t be missed ”
~ The Belleair Bee