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Sassafras Park

Design

Situated on three-and-a-half acres, Sassafras Park will include a sculpture garden, multi-use trail, event pavilion, multi-purpose lawn, fruit orchard, wildflower meadow, art installation bicycle racks and seating. Designed with permaculture techniques, the park incorporates all native plants where possible. A raised-bed community garden will include community herbs, and support up to fifteen gardeners.

The entire park is designed to manage all water onsite—a substantial feat in Central Alabama. Semi-pervious paving in our parking area, rain gardens with pollinator-supporting flora, rainwater cisterns at all large structures, and swales that encourage water to flow to trees and plants throughout the park means we will make use of 100% of our water, and avoid contributing to our city’s storm water system.

 

Programming

East Tuscaloosa is a growing, family-oriented neighborhood that currently lacks sufficient public park space, community gardens, and lacks community-oriented programming. Sassafras Park will provide a free, beautiful public space for all ages, a community garden and fruit orchard for local, organic produce, and programming opportunities that will include everything from education to exercise to entertainment.

Sassafras will partner with local organizations and individuals to provide free and low-cost programming for all of Tuscaloosa. In addition to our in house programming, community partners will provide expanded programming to help us create a more active and vibrant space for the whole community to enjoy.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming programming and events.

 

Arts

Sassafras is committed to supporting the arts scene in Tuscaloosa. We believe art is central to making a community strong and vibrant, and we will support the arts in a number of ways.

The Sassafras Center for Arts & Environment, situated within Sassafras Park, will be home to a rotating art gallery that features local artists’ work. Free and open to the public, the art will be auctioned quarterly at special events. Sassafras Park will also feature a sculpture garden with works that will be auctioned annually. While the majority of proceeds will go directly to the artists, a small percentage will support park maintenance. We're excited to offer this gallery opportunity to local artists, and we anticipate great success showcasing their work in a high-traffic public space.

Sassafras Park will also be home to arts-focused events; from live music to screenings to poetry readings to arts & craft sales, Sassafras Park will be a space that connects local artists to their community year-round.

Are you an artist that would like to feature your work at the future Sassafras Gallery or in Sassafras Park? Contact us at director@sassafrascenter.org.

 

Reservations

As a privately run, public green space, Sassafras Park will generate the majority of its revenue through reservations. By designing the space to accommodate all types of events, including weddings, we will position the park as a cost-competitive reservable space several days a month, while remaining free and open to the public every other day. This financial self-sustainability is at the core of our development plan, and will allow us to offer the space for free to event producers whose programming aligns with our mission to improve quality of life in Tuscaloosa.

We will have more information about reservations when the park is opened.

Are you an event planner interested in learning more about this future space? Contact us at director@sassafrascenter.org.


Get Involved

As a grassroots community project, everyone is encouraged to participate. From the park development, to open and varied programming, and the availability of a shared space, this park will provide opportunities to bring together all community members.

Now in our capital campaign to raise the funds necessary to build this self-sustaining park, we encourage you to make a financial contribution to help build this community asset. Any amount is welcome, and all funds will go directly to building the park. Your contribution today will result in a new, world-class park with events and activities to enjoy year-round. Please, donate today.

Want to learn more? Contact director@sassafrascenter.org.

 

In the News

Sassafras Park is making a splash in Tuscaloosa, and we're proud to share the media coverage of our efforts to bring you a new, self-sufficient public park. Take a look at the stories in the news:

We launched our new master plan to an intimate group during the delicious Food Memories event to much fanfare. WVUA 22 was there to cover it - see the story here.

The Sassafras Park master plan was featured on the cover of Tuscaloosa News. See what they say about the proposed park plan here.

iHeart Radio has played a Sassafras Park PSA on all four of their Tuscaloosa radio stations. Listen to the PSA here.

The Sassafras Park master plan is the featured story in the Community section of Druid City Living's June 2016 issue (page 9). You can see the online version of the paper here.

The Center for Public Television and Radio has created the following video PSA for Sassafras Park.

 

Please consider contributing to help build Sassafras Park - we need your help. Just a few dollars and you can help build a worldclass park with tons of free programming and cool new events!