A nice park after all

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This column is not about Ted Kennedy. While he deserves it, everything that needs to be said or written about him has already been done by people who did it much better than I could. Besides, when it comes to the Kennedy's, people either love them or hate them, and nothing I could write would change anybody's mind.

What I want to devote this space to is the new multipurpose park under construction in Marked Tree. I took a tour of it Saturday, and I have to tell you, you can't really appreciate how nice it is just glancing at it from the highway.

I also have to admit that I was a late convert to the idea of the park, but after my tour, I've changed my mind. What changed my mind was all of the people out there volunteering their time and labor to get the park ready. That many people don't work that hard for free for something that isn't worthwhile.

Members of the baseball and softball teams spent the day laying sod on the playing fields. They were joined by Coaches Wages and Drewett and Harold Wallin. They managed to cover 4,000 yards of playing surface.

Mike Cameron, who is overseeing the project, and engineer Kelly Parrish also sacrificed a day off when they realized that the teams were on the job. Cameron said that when he saw all of those kids out there working in the heat, it made all of the hard work he had put in worth it.

Shane Smith and Brad Daniels also were out there Saturday. Even Mayor Chandler came out and contributed his time, and was actually useful as long as they kept him away from the power tools.

Nobody from the city council was out there, and I thought that was odd. As much as some of them have been worrying about the cost of the park, I figured that if they were aware of all that free labor cutting the cost of it, they would have been out there themselves. Maybe now that they are aware of what others are doing, they will be out there next Saturday.

One of the reasons that I wasn't enthusiastic about the park at first was that I didn't think that they could put all of what they wanted in the space they had chosen. I was wrong. The park contains four playing fields, a basketball court, a walking trail, and a multi-purpose building in the center. If you are like I was, I encourage you to arrange a tour of the park yourself. It might just change your mind. It did for me.