“I just think it’s the best thing we could have done for him,” councilman says of Parker’s Trail
The Walk at Sandy Run, a new $1.6 million park in Warner Robins that overlooks a creek, is taking shape.
The park features a large lawn for picnics and play, two giant slides on a large earth mound, a planned horseshoe-shaped overlook extending over Sandy Run Creek, a pavilion and expected outdoor grills, and a planned boardwalk the length of three football fields for parkgoers to walk through the woods.
The 19-acre park, which is expected to open this summer, is located off South Houston Lake Road next to the Pines at Westdale apartment complex.
Thursday, the first poles for the $365,000 boardwalk portion of the park were put in place. The boardwalk is named Parker’s Trail after Parker Killian Moore, 23, a shift worker at Barberitos who was slain Jan. 21, 2018 during an armed robbery of the restaurant.
“Parker would absolutely love every single thing about this,” said his mom, Leah Maas, of Warner Robins, who came to watch the first pole set in place. “He loved being outdoors.
“He loved kids and would love … that they’d be playing here. He just loved being around people in general, and to know that people will be coming here to enjoy their time in nature would be very special to him,” Maas said.
Councilman Tim Thomas, whose district includes the park, said he woke up at 3 a.m. one morning with the idea to name the boardwalk after Moore.
“I just think it’s the best thing we could have done for him,” Thomas said. “I never got the chance to meet him, but I sure have learned a lot about him.”
Gail Killian Moore, Maas’ mother and Moore’s grandmother, shared his love of nature and hiking with Thomas.
Gail Killian Moore finds comfort in something good coming out of tragedy like Parker’s Trail and a foundation created in his honor that awards scholarships through varied technical colleges.
The women also plan to help with fundraising for a special-needs playground that Thomas said he envisions as an addition to the park where the boardwalk comes out off of Great Oak Way.
That is where work on the boardwalk began Thursday. An eternal flame is expected to be added at the start of the boardwalk to honor all those who have been a victim of violent crime or have lost someone to violent crime, Thomas said.
The Walk at Sandy Run was designed as a passive park with a large lawn, said the city’s recreation director, Jarred Reneau. The lawn is encircled by a concrete walkway that is already in place. The boardwalk and overlook will branch off of the main park area.
People passing by on South Houston Lake can already see the two large slides on the earth mound and the pavilion.
“We wanted to do something other than sports related because we have a lot of senior citizens, we have people that hike,” Thomas said. “Especially in this area, we have a lot of walkers with animals, so we wanted to do something a little bit different.”
The target date for the park’s opening is July 22.