What does downtown Macon plan to do with its green space?

By HAYES RULE and DYLAN MALAMALA

Green space in the downtown Macon area is a continued area of focus for community leaders who want to make downtown a “walking and biking paradise.”

Josh Rogers, the president and CEO of NewTown Macon, said the plan is tto make it easier to get from downtown to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and vice versa. One connecting spot of the trail to downtown is off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near the Otis Redding statue.

“We’ve had a lot of success in developing the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail since we were founded in 1996,” Rogers said. “We want to take the principles that make that the region’s premier recreational venue and adapt those to downtown streets.”

Rosa Parks Square is one of many downtown

rests across from the old City Hall — now the Macon-Bibb County Government Center at the intersection of 1st and Poplar Streets. It is a big piece of green space in the downtown area.

Alex Morrison, the executive director at the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority, said it is important to consider how all of downtown’s green space works together.

“We really need to think about how all of our green space works together and that it communicates that it’s usable, people-friendly [and] a place that’s meant for gathering,” Morrison said. “[We] looked at Rosa Parks Square and realized it’s a good green space but not functional — that the amount of space is not equivalent to the amount of usability. We have it available and kind of let the community guide the events.”

Morrison said events like a recent craft beer festival — along with similar festivals — Rosa Parks Square could be used for church groups, protest groups or community groups.

But Rosa Parks Square isn’t the only key for utilizing green space downtown. Josh Rogers, the president and CEO of NewTown Macon, said the plan is to make downtown a “walking and biking paradise.”

“We’ve had a lot of success in developing the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail since we were founded in 1996,” Rogers said. “We want to take the principles that make that the region’s premier recreational venue and adapt those to downtown streets.”

“[We want to] make sure everybody who uses downtown streets for walking and biking has an experience that is as memorable and unique as the one that is on the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail,” Rogers said.

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