Village of Homer mayor Hal McCabe provided details on the impending linear park at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, which will be located north of the CNY Living History Center on Route 11.
The village has been partnering with Seven Valleys Health Coalition, SUNY Cortland and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry on the park project.
SUNY ESF land architecture students recently presented six different concepts to the park. McCabe noted the plan is to present each concept to some of the village’s committees, stakeholders, residents, the Board of Trustees and other groups.
“This is to go over things and have people flag the things they like about each concept,” McCabe added. He noted that the village will then bring in a landscape architect and mix the six different concepts into one.
“This would then be put together as an actual plan,” McCabe added.
The park, which will be located on the right side of the west branch portion of the Tioughnioga River, will mainly be an “edible-landscaped park.”
“All of the vegetation that we plant there will be edible,” McCabe said, which includes nut trees, fruit trees and bushes and other edible plants for people to pick and choose from. “There will be signage to guide people through (the park), and there will be something they can eat all four seasons.”
McCabe noted the rest of the park includes plans for a pavilion, a kayak takeout/launch concept and potentially a dock-type overhang for fishing.
The village plans to lay down grass feed this year, and planting at the park will take place next spring, McCabe said. The park itself won’t open to the public until next summer, he added.
“There’s still quite a bit of planning to do. It’s moving along and I think it’s going to be a really exciting and fun park,” McCabe said.
The idea for the park started about seven years ago, McCabe said. The idea to make it an edible park came from Seven Valleys Health Coalition, in coordination with SUNY ESF and SUNY Cortland students, a few years back.
The cost of the park project is being covered by a $311,000 grant, village clerk Dan Egnor said. A large chunk of the grant was used to purchase three properties in order for pieces of the park to come together.
Egnor noted there are funds leftover from the grant to cover the costs of a company to do landscaping work for the park, and for park construction as a whole.