Palm River Linear Park Completion Ceremony

A view by our president, David Alger

The board has credited me with the impetus for Palm River Park. Truly, it wasn’t my original idea. When I became president of the River Oaks Association I was given lots of old stuff to go through. In searching through it, I came across a semi-professionally drawn plan showing a winding walkway along Piper Boulevard with numerous trees. That was over 10 years ago. At the time, I said to myself, “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if we could one day do this?” But time gets away. However, eventually I got impatient with myself and created a rough painting of how this area might look. I showed it to Fran Hoy who was president of the PRHCA at the time. As it turned out, landscaping that area was also his dream. He scheduled it for presentation at the next board meeting and at that point it took off.

From that point on you know the story. The board hired a landscape architect to provide a conceptual drawing. When we showed it to Jim Wallace, who owned the east half of the Piper Boulevard corridor property, he immediately became an enthusiastic supporter. He helped us get the county interested. It thus became a tri-party project. It turned out the county was interested in the idea of public-private partnerships to create attractive areas in small spots of unused land around the county. With the county involved, it became a much grander project than the modest improvement we originally hoped to make.

We owe our gratitude to a number of individuals for their participation. Jim Wallace, of course. Not only did he donate the east half of the corridor property, he also contributed the five grand sculptures that make it different from other small parks plus an added $10,000 toward construction. Charley Nevaril has been closely involved from the beginning, handled the memorial pavers and has been our continuing contact with the county. Commissioner Georgia Hiller became an immediate supporter. We especially appreciate the efforts of Nick Casalanguida. Nick has handled this project for the county and for us with a professional interest that is a credit to Collier County government. I wish you could have been there to feel the enthusiasm we experienced coming not only from Nick and Commissioner Hiller, but also from all the staff. How excited they all were about this and how many hours they put in to make this dream come true.


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