MILTON — After months of transformation — and days before its reopening — the City of Milton’s athletic field complex off Cox Road has a new name: Legacy Park.
There’s a story behind the name, attributable to the late Philip Broome and those who shared how the longtime soccer coach would encourage his players to reflect on what kind of legacy they’d like to leave behind. The concept of “legacy” was a theme at the former Milton High School coach’s memorial service earlier this summer, with many remembering him as a kind, positive, generous individual.
Dozens of people suggested incorporating that word, as well as Broome’s name, after the city asked residents to share naming ideas for the 8-acre facility.
At an August 15 Milton City Council meeting, Communications Director Greg Botelho explained that “Legacy Park” could be seen as a tribute to Broome as well as others — including NFL player turned Milton resident and inspiring coach and leader Tim Lester; beloved coach, teacher and longtime Milton Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member Ron Hill; and Van Kottis, another board member who was instrumental in Milton Steelers football and the makeover of Bell Memorial Park — who positively impacted athletes and programs in the city.
“The name Legacy Park is a great way to honor dedicated individuals who made a difference in Milton’s parks, recreation and athletic community,” said Parks and Recreation Director Tom McKlveen. “And by investing in these fields, the City is committed to leaving a positive legacy by creating a space that athletes can enjoy for decades to come.”
Legacy Park is the third park to be part of a city initiative giving citizens a leading role in selecting names that resonate with visitors, make sense for a particular space, and reflect Milton’s values. First, the former Milton Country Club — including the City Pool, Milton Tennis Center, a new Community Center and 130 acres of passive greenspace — became Milton City Park and Preserve after more than 200 suggestions. A few months later, the 5-acre facility with a pond, pier and pavilion in downtown Crabapple was named Mayfield Park.
City officials say they plan to keep up the momentum going in the coming months, with the 106-acre greenspace off Lackey Road likely next on the list.
The one named this week off Cox Road was created in the early 1980s by a local company who wanted a place for its soccer teams to practice. The facility ended up being used by multiple soccer clubs — one being UFA, where Broome coached and could sometimes be found mowing the grass and lining the fields. The City of Milton purchased the property in January 2020, not long after the passage of a Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan calling for more athletic field space.
In an effort to maximize its use, the city decided to turn the two full-sized fields into large multi-sport turf fields that could accommodate lacrosse, football, soccer, softball, and baseball. That extensive project — which included irrigation, fencing, “sewing in” the fields and more — began in May and should be completed in the coming weeks.
You can learn more about this project at https://cleargov.com/georgia/fulton/city/milton/projects/2503/cox-road-athletic-complex-field-turfing.
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