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Sandy Creek Park Oral Histories: Robert Farmer, August 2, 2005

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:15 - Introduction / Education / Early career

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Partial Transcript: Why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Segment Synopsis: Farmer introduces himself. He is from Jackson County, and he went to the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design in the Landscape Architect division. Farmer also talks about his early career.

Keywords: Charleston Naval School; Commerce High School; Jackson County; Ken Simmons; National Park Service; School of Environmental Design; US Army; University of Georgia; landscape architect

00:07:58 - Memories of Sandy Creek Park project / Original priorities for the park

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Partial Transcript: What do you remember about this project?

Segment Synopsis: Farmer talks about some of the memories that he has about the Sandy Creek Park project. He also talks about the original priorities for the park.

Keywords: Ben McLeroy and Associates; Cherokee Indians; Clarke County; Sandy Creek Nature Center; Soil Conservation Services; park; soccer field

00:15:22 - First thoughts about site for park / Citizen input into the park

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Partial Transcript: When you said that -- you were kinda describing the setting -- maybe you could just describe the first time that you saw this area and what you saw here you know say standing kind of at the gate house looking out on the park.

Segment Synopsis: Farmer reflects on seeing the site for the first time for design purposes. He also recounts the input local citizens put into the design and development of the park.

Keywords: Cherokee Indians; amphitheater; barbecue; citizens; community building; hardwoods; open pasture land; soccer field

00:26:24 - Involvement of different government agencies / Wildlife management

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Partial Transcript: That was kind of something I was going to ask you is how was it working with so many agencies from your perspective?

Segment Synopsis: Farmer talks about working with the different governmental agencies like the Soil Conservation Service and the local Clarke County government. Farmer later talks about wildlife preservation in designing the park.

Keywords: Clarke County; George Chandler; Nancy Smith; Soil Conservation Service; construction; contractors; contracts; design; wildlife

00:38:01 - Design of the park

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember if it was originally planned to be a wildlife sanctuary from the start?

Segment Synopsis: Farmer discusses about the design concepts and the original intentions of the park. The idea was to keep the park as natural as possible. Farmer also talks about the addition of Cook's Trail and the plans for an RV park.

Keywords: Clarke County Commissioners; Gene Sapp; Hugh Logan; Jackson County; Jim Holland; RV Park; Soil Conservation Service; deer; university; wildlife

00:52:33 - Condition of the land

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Partial Transcript: What kind of condition did the Soil Conservation Service leave the land after building the dam?

Segment Synopsis: Farmer talks about how the land has changed since the implementation of the changes such as the various dams. He also talks about how these changes impacted the land.

Keywords: conservation; dam; development; erosion; lake; land; soil; subdivisions; water quality; wet land

00:57:33 - Development of certain parts of the park

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned the swim beach and that's really one of the most popular parts of the park now.

Segment Synopsis: Farmer shares his ideas for the different elements of the park such as the beach, the ball fields, the trails, and the boat docks. He also shares how the design of the park worked well with the changing levels of the lake.

Keywords: ampitheater; ball fields; beach; boat docks; nature; pier; ropeway; swimming pools; white sand

01:04:32 - Involvement with park after opening / Changes to park

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Partial Transcript: How involved were you after the park actually opened?

Segment Synopsis: Farmer talks about how he was involved in the park for a couple years after it opened. Otherwise, the county was involved with the daily operation. Farmer also talks about the changes to the park after his involvement.

Keywords: Cook's Trail; North Carolina; contract; design; facilities; volunteer work

01:15:51 - Post park career / Closing reflections

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Partial Transcript: What have you been doing since designing Sandy Creek Park?

Segment Synopsis: Farmer talks about his career after designing Sandy Creek Park, and he offers some closing remarks on Sandy Creek Park.

Keywords: Michael Chamfer; architect; firm