To the Editor:

I am the landscape architect who designed the Town Square Park in Murphysboro. I have a degree in landscape architecture from Ball State University, which is rated in the top 10 for LA in the nation. I have 25 years experience working for municipalities, park districts and state agencies. I am the board chairman of the Landscape Architecture Registration Board for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

The design of the park was created as a show piece for the all members of the community to enjoy. The design was submitted and approved by Murphyboro City Council. Bids were received and a contractor was selected. This contractor completed the project according to the contract.

Four years later, the park is not open for the community and the city is battling the project director over items agreed to before construction. The material used to construct the paths, decomposed granite, has been used in high-traffic, high-profile projects, such as Soldier Field in Chicago. It is a durable material that provides beautiful aesthetics and meets ADA standards.

The community suffers, while a manufactured controversy keeps the park closed and members of the council settle scores. The warm weather will be here soon. Will this park be available for children to enjoy the reading lawn and the sculpture garden? I sincerely hope so.

Town Square Park was developed by a charitable trust for the community. It was my honor to serve the city in creating this well-designed public space. This beautiful setting will be the site of many joyful events for many years into the future. I hope the park will be open for the summer of 2012 and those events can begin soon.

DARRELL E. GARRISON RLA, ASLA CPSI, NOMA

PRINCIPAL, DIRECTOR OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE PLANNING RESOURCES, INC.

WHEATON

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