Fallon’s “Jet Park” receives revitalization
December 6, 2016
What is referred to as "Jet Park" and the western entrance to Fallon near Walmart is undergoing beautification and a potential signage update.
"It's a gateway into our community and worth the effort," said Julie Guerrero, executive assistant for the Churchill County Manager, who is championing the beautification project. "It's a great piece of property and a great opportunity for the county to showcase their military presence … It would show pride for being host to the military and for our own community. We're really excited."
With Bottom Road's relocation over 23 years ago, the triangle slice of property came under county ownership after the land was requested from the Nevada Department of Transportation to erect a monument relating to Naval Air Station Fallon. The site's crown jewel became the A-7E Corsair on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla.
Every other year, the county submits a re-certification of loaned government property along with photos to show the aircraft is in good condition; the county is responsible for any damages and routine maintenance. Over time, the site had fallen into disrepair.
There were several broken concrete cylinders on the ground around the jet, and the flag pole (a repurposed lamp post) had severely peeling paint and was installed too close to the jet. There is no lighting on the site, and the two old wooden signs are outdated and in poor condition, Guerrero said.
The Navy League and various local civic groups have aided the park's up-keep as possible, and several community members have shown interest in helping with restoration. In addition to revitalizing the property, several comments about the need to repaint or clean up the jet have been made.
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"And as you can imagine, this is not an easy task," Guerrero reported to the Churchill County Board of Commissioners on Thursday.
In summer, NAS Fallon's Public Works Department volunteered to help, the first step being to wash the jet. Guerrero said thanks to the chief selects in coordination with base operations contractor Chugach, the A-7 was washed Aug. 19 — involving a lift truck, pressure washer and water bull.
Next, Guerrero proposed the cleanup project to Enel Green Power North America, which has hosted a national "Green Up Our Community" week for several years in the communities of its offices and power plants. (Enel has geothermal plants in Stillwater and Salt Wells.)
By the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Enel had coordinated equipment and volunteered over a dozen employees from Enel, Colorado TBC, Grant Mills of Mills Farm & Industrial and Dave Murray with the county's Parks & Recreation Department.
"With all the volunteer manpower from Enel, a forklift and operator from Colorado TBC, and a crane donated and operated by Grant Mills, the team was able to remove the old broken concrete cylinders, wooden signage and flag pole, leaving behind a clean site with a clean jet," Guerrero said.
She plans to discuss future park beautification plans with the commissioners in January. Design aspects include benches, a new flagpole and a welcome to Churchill County sign.
"It was truly heartwarming to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing volunteers and accomplish so much," Guerrero said. "Everyone worked together very well and with incredible precision. It is not easy to maneuver equipment, remove concrete and lift out a 40-foot flagpole — all while working around a static display aircraft."
She also expressed gratitude to those who have volunteered their time already and encourages those groups or individuals interested in assisting with making the project a success or sponsorship, to contact her at 775-423-5136.