A lot of activity in local parks

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Blytheville Parks and Recreation Committee met Wednesday in the district courtroom, getting an update of activities in the local parks.

Blytheville Mayor James Sanders’ assistant Cody Wyatt handed the committee a list of recent activities that have happened over the last two months in the and also listed some things that will be coming up in the months of September and October.

Some of the improvements include: the Blytheville City Pool painting project was completed on July 18 by Sierra Construction; on July 21 the Festival in the Park took place; on August 14 Black Hills Energy gifted the city a new pavilion in Walker Park and also hosted city employees for a cookout at the new pavilion; the parking posts at the Blytheville Youth Sportsplex pavilions and the small one at the walking trail and at the old First Tee Course were painted by community service and donated paint from Walmart. Also, vegetation was removed off of the fences at Williams Park by community services, and on Aug. 3 the Juvenile Office put on Party in the Park. Then on Aug. 4 Shannon “Duck” Sims put on Kids Day; and with paint left over from the pool building and community service metal water containers, parking posts and bag racks were painted at Thunder Bayou Golf Links.

On Aug. 7, community services removed vegetation and painted post at the Clean Fun Club building in Walker Park; on Aug. 9, bushes were trimmed on fence line and the small white fence in Nelson Park. Three “Do Not Feed Geese” signs were installed at the Walker Park Pond; two handicap signs (one at Nelson Park and one at the City Pool) were installed; community service workers painted two picnic tables for the Police and Fire Departments with leftover paint from the Walmart donation. An Adult Co-Ed softball league has been created and started the season at the Sportsplex. There are eight teams and five local sponsors. It will last for a total of six weeks.

Wyatt said on Aug. 22, a volunteer repaired a privacy fence in Nelson Park with their own time and materials; on Aug. 23, a new fountain was installed in Walker Park Pond; two basketball posts were painted in Williams Park. Wyatt said the Mississippi County Fair had a great turnout at Walker Park; and the Rotary Club of Blytheville repaired the Little Free Library in Nelson Park. Some of the vegetation was killed and burned on the Ninth Street ball field, she said.

The 10 recycling bottle containers were relocated from the ballfields and moved to various spots throughout the city; on Sept. 1, the First Missionary Baptist Church Fishing Rodeo took place.

Upcoming events include a Merle Haggard Tribute Concert at the Ritz Civic Center Saturday at 7 p.m.; a retire flag ceremony at Ann Bush’s house on Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m.; Senior Center Renovation Reveal on Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. Chamber Connect Early Bird will take place on Sept. 11 from 7- 8:30 a.m. KIPP’s Williams Park Beautification Day will take place on Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. Tribute to Neil Diamond at the Ritz Civic Center will be on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.; the Mississippi County Fall Clean Up Day is on Sept. 29 at 8 a.m. Also, the Chili Cook-off will take place on Main Street in Blytheville on Oct. 19 and 20.

Councilman John Mayberry told Wyatt that they were doing an awesome job and that he sees a lot of work going on.

Councilwoman Barbara Brothers once again brought up about possibly getting a contract for the concession stand in Walker Park or looking at repairing it.

Mayberry agreed that it needs to be repaired.

Delta Gateway Museum Director Leslie Hester informed the board that the museum will be looking at applying for two federal grants that will be $25,000 apiece. Hester asked if received would the city match the grant(s). The grant presented to the committee have a deadline of Nov. 1. The other grant’s deadline is Dec. 14. Hester said if the city can and is willing to match the grant she’d like to know because writing grants take a while and the deadlines aren’t far away. She will be applying for both and hopes to get one of the two grants.

Brothers asked if the building was sound to house the expensive exhibits that may come in the future, and Hester said, yes.

Mayberry said there will need to be another meeting because he doesn’t know the process of the grants going through the different committees. Brothers added that it would have to be placed in the 2019 budget.