Tree board discusses dog park, amphitheater, and bat houses

DFS CITY BEAUTIFICATION & TREE BOARD members, Left to right, Tony Brunson, Sommer Adams, Kim Wennerberg, Mike Goodchild, and Glen Harrison.

By RUBY KEARCE 

The DeFuniak Springs City Beautification & Tree Board held their regular meeting on Dec. 7, at the city hall location. The board began with a discussion regarding a committee or “task force” for the creation of the Dog Park. The board is tasked to come up with an identifier for the group as well as some possible names for members by January’s meeting to bring the idea before the DeFuniak Springs City Council.  

After a discussion with the executive director for the Community Redevelopment Authority (CRA) Josh Irvin, Board Member Kim Wennerburg learned that a lot of the things within the CRA’s comprehensive plan coincide with the Beautification & Tree Board’s goals. Irvin informed Wennerberg that he will bring the plan before DeFuniak Springs City Council for approval at its January meeting. So Wennerberg is requesting a rescheduling of the January board meeting for Irvin to come before the board to discuss their plan in greater detail if it gains approval. The board agreed to reschedule the meeting for Thursday, Jan 11. 

Discussion then moved to an amphitheater update, with Wennerberg informing the council that she brought survey results before the DeFuniak Springs City Council. While there, Wennerberg was reminded that Council member Anthony Vallee had received permission from the council to start the process of remodeling the amphitheater. Vallee has met with a member of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) board who was in support of the remodel and walked the grounds of the amphitheater. 

Next discussed were the pros and cons of turf for the amphitheater remodel. Board member Tony Brunson informed the council that the pros are low maintenance, no irrigation, durability, and the product is appropriate for a challenging setting. But the cons would be the process to repair normal wear and tear and the product not being suitable for all areas.

Board member Mike Goodchild then updated the board on his progress with installing a bat house at a location around the lake yard. Goodchild said that the city council approved of the installation of the bat house. Goodchild explained that they will begin with one set of bat houses, one pole with a house on either side, on the southeast corner of the lake. Goodchild said that the plan is to wait until the end of the Christmas Reflections event to move forward with the installation. 

Goodchild also addressed the board about trees being planted for Arbor Day 2024, hosted by the Chautauqua Assembly. Goodchild suggested a few Japanese Maples for the inclusion of color and purchasing bladder bags to help assist with watering the newly planted trees. Goodchild will be bringing more information about tree planting and the Arbor Day event to the January meeting.