The City of Batesville hosted a grand opening ceremony to unveil the name of the new park on Six Pine Ranch Road on Saturday, July 4. Freedom Park was chosen by the Batesville Parks & Recreation Board after reviewing public submissions for the name last year.
The park features a walking trail, playground sites, picnic tables and benches, an observation deck, and parking areas. The large playground area was made possible by generous donations from Lance and Ronda Green and the Belterra Community Fund. In total, there were nearly $40,000 in public and private contributions for amenities at the park.
“This project really shows how our community works together, from the hospital donating the land to all of the donations, it all directly benefits current and future residents and visitors of our city,” said Mayor Mike Bettice. “Batesville has been growing on the north side of town for years and I believe this park will only get more use as our city continues to grow.”
Margaret Mary Health donated the 3-acre parcel of land for development of the park. The City trail connects to the existing walking path behind the Margaret Mary Outpatient & Cancer Center.
“This park is an example of a great partnership with the city of Batesville. Their hard work and effort to acquire grant funds and maximize the donation from Margaret Mary to design and build a health focused park for the community is exactly the type of collaboration between groups that makes Batesville such a wonderful place to live. When we added the walking trail behind our Cancer Center, we were focused on helping to create a new safe place that allowed for the community to stay active. This park adds to that vision, and we hope in the years ahead as Margaret Mary expands in this area it will continue to grow as a health focused space to meet the needs of the community,” said Tim Putnam, CEO and President of Margaret Mary Health.
“This project didn’t always go as smoothly as we would have hoped, especially in the beginning stages, but it all worked out and I am extremely happy how the park turned out. It is so neat to walk the trail and see all the plaques stating who donated the amenity, or the loved ones it is in memory of. Along with the generous hospital land donation and Land and Water Conservation Fund grant, the community really stepped up to help fund everything from the trash cans to the playgrounds. Without their generosity, we wouldn’t have the park we have. Thanks to everyone involved in the entire process. I also want to thank everyone for attending the event, and I look forward to seeing the park enjoyed for many years to come,” said Parks Director Mike Baumer.