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Hunter Memorial Park, Belleair, Fla.
The town wanted to redevelop Hunter Park as a community gathering space.

Landscape Architecture by Copley Design Associates, Inc., Streetsboro, Ohio and Clearwater, Fla.


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The fountain at Hunter Memorial Park includes a two-tiered pool, spillways and bubbler jets. Bronze plaques are located on each side, honoring the five military branches. Each plaque has its own spillway and is framed by two bubbler jets. Engraved donor paver bricks and ground plaques surround the fountain and are angled to create a star shape within the pathway. Each star point contains the memorial bricks for members of the military branch represented on the five sided obelisk.


Established in the 1950s, Hunter Park in Belleair, Fla. (3,869), just south of Clearwater, had become a forgotten green space. The 1.5-acre park offered an open lawn with beautiful stands of live oak trees. While the space hosted a farmer's market, the benches, walkways and wood gazebo were worn, broken and in decay. A small fountain built in the 1950s was no longer functional and had been converted into a planter. Drainage was a problem. The lawn was weedy and in poor condition. The irrigation system and lighting and electrical receptacles for events were in disrepair. Several trees and much of the landscape were overgrown and in decline. Visitor parking was very limited and inconveniently located.

The site had potential. The town wanted to redevelop Hunter Park as a community gathering space.

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New seating is nestled among beds of red 'Knockout' roses and planters of bright red geraniums. Ligustrum (privet) trees surround the plaza and fountain, screening the area and creating a quiet place for reflection. Live oaks provide interest and shade in a secluded seating area with a beautiful St. Francis statue that was donated when the park was developed in the 1950s. Several Formosa azaleas are planted among the seating. The St. Augustine grass prevents erosion along walkways.


Because of the park's high visibility from the roadway, a memorial fountain plaza to honor the nation's veterans was proposed at the northern point of the park near the main intersection.

The new fountain has two-tiered pool basins with spillways. At the center of the upper basin is a pentagonal granite obelisk. Each of the five sides of the obelisk displays a bronze plaque representing one of the five branches of our military. The upper pool has five spillways and bubbler jets, consistent with the pentagonal centerpiece. The lower pool's circular design seems appropriate for relaxed, tranquil strolling around the memorial. The flags of the five military branches are on display around the fountain, with the U.S. flag displayed at the center of the memorial entry. Places for reflection among honorary plaques and donor pavers are integrated within the plaza.

"We expanded the open lawn by removing hazardous trees and overgrown landscape, making room for large gatherings and recreation," explains R. Drew Copley of Copley Design Associates. Redesigned walkways define activity areas and provide easy access throughout the park. The new irrigation system maintains turf during drought conditions, and the electrical upgrades enhance lighting at town events. An existing wide section of curb grass was converted into paved angled parking and is conveniently located next to the memorial and open lawn.

A large lawn of durable St. Augustine grass is defined by new walkways through stands of majestic live oaks, and a small area for a future bandstandfor park concerts. Formosa azaleas and benches were placed under the shade of the oak canopy.

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The town of Belleair, Fla. (3,869), just south of Clearwater, has turned a circa 1950s "forgotten" green space into a memorial park with a plaza and fountain honoring the military branches. Indian Hawthorn, flax lily, Golden dewdrop and liriope decorate the new park sign.


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.

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The new fountain includes programmable LED lighting, offering the flexibility to change lighting colors for seasonal and special occasions.


Team
Prime Consultant: Landscape Architect: Copley Design Associates, Inc., Streetsboro, Ohio and Clearwater, Fla.
Fountain Design/Build: Freeport Fountain, Sanford, Fla.
General Contractor: Caladesi Construction, Largo, Fla.

Vendors
Site Furnishings: Site Horizons, Winter Garden, Fla.
Planters: Wausau Tile, Wausau, Wis.
Pavers: Paver Crafters, Inc., Clearwater, Fla.



As seen in LASN magazine, July 2017.






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