Little Debbie Park in Collegedale set to open

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton/ Sculptures of Little Debbie snacks, including “Christmas Tree cakes” decorate the Little Debbie Park in Collegedale on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.
Staff photo by Matt Hamilton/ Sculptures of Little Debbie snacks, including “Christmas Tree cakes” decorate the Little Debbie Park in Collegedale on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.

The city of Collegedale will host a grand opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday for Little Debbie Park behind The Commons on Swinyar Drive.

The park will feature extensive playground equipment, including climbing structures, swing sets, balance beams, a zip line, a sensory dome and musical instruments, according to plans for the park. Additionally, there will be a large hill, two knolls, two stormwater ponds, hundreds of trees and shrubs, and several pavilions.

The McKee family purchased the 10-acre plot of land and donated it for use as a park for the community. Mike Gloekler, communications and public relations manager for McKee Foods, was unable to provide the park's cost during a phone interview.

(READ MORE: How McKee Foods, producer of Little Debbie, was built to last in the Chattanooga area)

"This incredibly generous donation is a perfect addition to our park system and will be an amazing benefit to the community for decades to come," Collegedale City Manager Wayon Hines said in a statement issued by Bridgett Raper, communications strategist for the Small Cities Coalition of Hamilton County.

"The park is beautiful, and the playground is spectacular," Hines said in the statement. "We cannot wait for the community to enjoy it."

In addition to the playground equipment and greenery, the park will feature several play structures modeled after Little Debbie snacks. For example, there is a Cosmic Brownie-inspired structure for climbing, Gloekler said.

(READ MORE: Remember When, Chattanooga? Do you recognize this Collegedale food factory?)

At the grand opening, there will also be an unveiling of a Little Debbie statue created by local artist Alex Paul Loza.

 

"I'm honored to be part of this new park, as my family and I have been living in Collegedale for several years," Loza said in a news release about the statue's unveiling. "Not only will many families enjoy this new park, but children will also be able to take photos with Little Debbie."

The new park is the result of the long-standing relationship between McKee Foods and the city of Collegedale, Gloekler said.

(READ MORE: Collegedale approves McKee park partnership while community members seek revisions)

"We're looking forward to the project coming to a close and opening up, and we can't wait to see how the community embraces it," Gloekler said.

The grand opening will be free and open to the public.

Contact Sam Still at sstill@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6579.


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