COOKEVILLE – Now that spring is here, more recreation opportunities await in Cookeville’s parks and facilities. To help people navigate between them, Cookeville Leisure Services – which maintains 10 city parks and natural areas, as well as several facilities – has a new map that depicts fun, colorful images of specific features within each destination.
“This map was an exciting project,” local artist Matt Knieling, who designed the map, said. “I really feel it will be a boon to people trying to find all the fun opportunities in their community.”
Leisure Services Director Rick Woods agreed.
“We have several parks that locals have never visited because they don’t know where to find them,” he said. “I hope this map will make it easy to locate our parks and other facilities and will also serve as a visual aid for new visitors to our community to access our numerous recreation opportunities.”
The map combines the look of a traditional street map with numbered “pins” that magnify Knieling’s whimsical images of all 10 city parks, as well as the Cookeville Depot Museum and Cookeville Performing Arts Center.
Lettered “stickers” identify the rest of the facilities, including the Cane Creek Recreation Center, Gymnasium and SportsPlex, Cookeville History Museum, Dogwood Performance Pavilion and Heart of the City Playground.
The images were drawn digitally using Adobe Illustrator and a drawing tablet.
“I started with photos of the locations, which I used as a foundation for a loose ‘ink’ drawing of the line work,” Knieling said. “Then I came back and added fun splashes of color to help the illustrations stand out.”
Knieling, a self-taught artist who is also a library assistant at the Putnam County Library, said he wanted to keep a degree of realism while also showing his personal cartoonish style.
“I’ve drawn all my life, often with a focus on comics and illustration, which I think helps give my work a unique feel when I take on a design job like this,” he said. “It was important to me that the locations still be easily recognizable, but also that they have something of a cartoon or comic vibe.”
Also depicted on the map is the new Tennessee Central Heritage Rail Trail, which begins at the Cookeville Depot Museum and continues past Cinderella Park, where trail users may take a restroom break.
Woods said he’s pleased with the look of the map and looks forward to sharing it with the rest of the community.
“Matt is a terrific artist and was so flexible and easy to work with on this project,” he said.
The map, along with descriptions and addresses of each park and facility, will be featured in the spring and summer edition of Leisure Life, Leisure Services’ semiannual magazine, which will be available the first week of April at the Cookeville Municipal Building at 45 E. Broad St.
Other distribution sites include the Cookeville Depot and History museums, Cane Creek Recreation Center, Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, Putnam County Library, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Tennessee Tech University and many other places in the Cookeville area.
Cookeville’s parks include Cane Creek Park, Capshaw Park, Cinderella Park, City Lake Natural Area, Dogwood Park, Ensor Sink Natural Area, Franklin Avenue Park, Park View Park, Walnut Park and West End Park.
For more information, call Leisure Services at 931-520-4386 or visit www.cookeville-tn.gov/ls.