City officials, donors break ground on natural adventure area
By Dave Ongie, News Editor
During last Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony for a new natural adventure area located adjacent to King Commons, Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock took a moment to reflect on the responsibility of the current City Commission to observe Johnson City’s 150th anniversary.
It isn’t enough to simply blow out some candles on a cake, Brock said. Instead, the goal must be to pass on the city’s history and traditions to another generation of citizens so they can keep Johnson City’s legacy moving forward into the future.
Donna Noland, who played a large role in planning and securing funds for the legacy plaza and the natural adventure area now under construction, said she believes the projects will fulfill that goal.
“We really wanted a space that could connect our past to our present, to leave our footprints for the future,” said Noland, a member of the Sesquicentennial Commission. “It will continue to transform our downtown. In five years when you come back, you will see what this space has done for Downtown Johnson City.”
Members of the city government joined with major donors and members of the Sesquicentennial Commission to break ground on a natural adventure area that will promote physical activity and wellness for citizens of Johnson City. Among the major donors was Ballad Health. Alan Levine – president and CEO of the healthcare provider – said contributing toward the project will help further Ballad’s goals.
“This investment – by Ballad, by the city, by folks who have contributed – is going to contribute to healthy children for generations to come, and it’s going to be great for our community,” Levine said.