RiseMagazine | Sarasota

The Premier Lifestyle Magazine of Florida's Black Communities

Improvements at Fredd Atkins Park

While some may argue over the age of one of the oldest trees in the park, none can dispute that it had seen better days. After losing a branch during a high-wind storm two weeks ago, an aging and disease-stricken oak was marked for removal.

After the tree was bought to the attention of Todd Kucharski, Parks and Recreational Manager and a certified Aborist, a second opinion was sought. After confirming his initial diagnosis, the old oak was found to have internal cavities that would eventually lead to more downed branches and potential liabilities. For the safety of the park patrons, this old oak had to go!

Part of the issue is that oak trees don’t “compartmentalize” damage very well. When an injury occurs to the tree, it can become a gateway to diseases that can spread throughout the entire tree. Fortunately, a variety of oak has been bred that better handles damage, the Sky Climber Oak.

So, the existing damaged tree in the park was scheduled for removal. Valleycrest employees were on the scene to safely section and remove the old oak. A second company was brought in to grind down the remaining stump and clear the way for the planting of the Sky Climber oak. This was planned to be completed in time for the use of the park as a celebration site for a Juneteenth gathering but delays one out and the new planting didn’t happen until Tuesday June 19th.

With the new oak in place,the park is beginning to take on a new look. There are more improvements and upgrades in store. One thing is for certain, Todd and his staff have willingly accepted the challenge of managing more properties with a smaller staff and they are very receptive to public input as well. If there are issues within the park, please share those concerns with either Todd or his staff. Their goal is to insure that the parks of Sarasota are source of pride and enjoyment for all who would use them.

Feel free to contact Todd Kucharski at 941-365-2200 ext. 6303 and relay your comments regarding the park and any improvements that you’d like to see happen.

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