As written by Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan, June 2012:
More than 50 years ago, Mr. Woodrow Wilson (local resident, not the US President) donated land on Mount Vernon Road along Sweetwater Creek for a recreational park. The only other park in Douglas County at that time was the City Park (now Hunter Park) in Douglasville. The much-needed facility for the eastern end of our County was welcomed, and became the place where many residents gathered for baseball, football, and family fun. The County purchased an additional 7 acres adjacent to this property, and this became the Lithia Springs Girls Park, the birthplace of girls’ softball in the area.
The Woodrow Wilson and Lithia Springs Girls Parks became vibrant and much-used facilities. Thousands of children grew up on the fields, families bonded, and lifelong friends were made.
There were many families who spent practically every spare minute they had at the parks: developing programs, laying sod, building fences, cutting grass, picking up litter, cleaning up after the fields were flooded by Sweetwater Creek, and much, much more. The Hutchinsons, Mosses, Heads, Godfreys, Zachmeyers, Deals, Hammocks and many other families felt that this was important - and it was.
My wife, Linda, and I were part of that era, and cherish memories from those days. On these fields, I coached Little League baseball, Pony League baseball, and later girls’ softball. We must have eaten 1,000 hot dogs and hamburgers from the concession stand! I still love a hot dog, but why is it that a hot dog always tastes better at the ball field?
After many years of being regularly flooded by Sweetwater Creek, the Woodrow Wilson Park was vacated by active sports, and replaced by the new $2.2 million Lithia Springs Recreational Park at the other end of Mt. Vernon Road at South Sweetwater Road - on much higher ground! We opened the new park earlier this year and it features four ball fields, two playgrounds, a concession stand, rest rooms, “walking track” sidewalks, picnic pavilions, and an area for rest and reflection. One of the playgrounds is 100 percent all-accessible, thanks to a generous $75,000 grant from the Resurgens Orthopaedics Foundation.
However, the old Woodrow Wilson Park still has a lot of life in it. Using a $92,000 grant that the County matched with labor/in-kind services, it will soon become a passive park with areas for soccer, bocce, horseshoes, and pick-up ball games for families, Churches, and other organizations to enjoy. There will be a picnic pavilion and walking trails/track. The tennis courts at the Lithia Springs Girls Park are still active. With its natural beauty, quiet atmosphere, beautiful trees, and new facilities, the Woodrow Wilson Park will start to create remembrances for a new generation of residents.
Although Sweetwater Creek will most likely continue to flood the area on occasion, we have designed the new facilities to be “floodable” - able to withstand water and not be ruined.
I know that you will enjoy the new Lithia Springs Recreational Park - now open - and the renovated Woodrow Wilson Park - opening this summer. Create some memories with your family!
Lithia Springs Park
Baseball and Softball: Contact Tracy Ivey, [email protected]
Pavilion Rentals: Contact Tammy Cochran, [email protected]
Resurgens All-Abilities Playground at Lithia Springs Park