The long awaited new bay front park is now open to the public starting with a grand opening/ribbon cutting on Oct. 23, 2019 at 10 a.m. Located at the corner of Bay Grove Road and U.S. Hwy. 331 in Freeport, Grady Brown Park offers a number of amenities that greatly improve the recreational opportunities in the area, including an abundance of green space to throw down a blanket, and relax under an oak tree. The park features:
- Sandy beach along the Choctawhatchee Bay
- 2 boat ramps
- 3 finger piers
- Handicapped accessible kayak launch
- Picnic tables
- Boat wash down station
- Boat trailer parking area
- Vehicle parking
On July 25, 2017, the BCC approved the $3,742,000 purchase of the property with the excess funds remaining from the half-cent sales tax that was imposed to finance construction of the US Hwy 331 bridge. In October of 2017, Walton County Crews begin demolition of previous structures and site cleanup.
On November 28, 2017, the BCC approved the preliminary park concept plan and directed staff to hold two public workshops for community input. Following those workshops, the BCC approved the final park plan and staff began the process of design and permitting.
Following the approval of the design and permitting, on October 9, 2018 the BCC acted to officially name the park, Grady Brown Park. During the July 10th, 2018 BCC meeting, Ms. Hannah Brown had requested the park be named for Mr. Grady Brown, her grandfather, who fished the area every day, was a role model to many and was a lifelong resident of Walton County.
In January of 2019, R J Gorman Marine Construction, LLC was issued a notice to proceed to begin the construction associated with the seawall renovation, boat ramp, piers and sidewalks. In March of 2019, Gum Creek Farms, Inc. was issued a notice to proceed to begin construction of the bathroom facility.
Walton County Public Works crews completed the park by installing the sidewalks, parking areas and sod.
The beautiful artwork and benches were all fabricated locally. The benches, fish, dolphin and pelican were done by Jim Cosson, welder/fabricator for Walton County with no additional cost for his work. The artwork on the wall at the bathroom and all the badges on the posts were done by the students at the Vo-tech Program at Emerald Coast Technical College. Stephen Dorriety is the instructor and owner of Dorriety Welding. The only cost was the cutting of the metal, with the students doing the other portions of the work as a project. Walton County wishes to thank principal/director, Wyndy Cozier, for allowing the project.
Grady Brown Park is located at the northwest end of the Clyde B. Wells causeway at the corner of Bay Grove Road and U.S. Hwy. 331. The address is 20940 US Highway 331 South, Freeport. ::MAP::
Click here to read a related story about Grady Brown.
Click here to read about the original Bay Grove Motel and Cafe which occupied this land years ago along with a marina.