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Granite Shoals parks getting makeover

Granite Shoals city parks map

A 2014 map shows the location of all 19 city parks in Granite Shoals. The City Council recently approved a $56,483 budget to enhance the parks at the behest of the Granite Shoals Parks Advisory Committee. Courtesy image

A volunteer effort to spruce up the 19 parks in the city of Granite Shoals just got a $56,483 boost from the City Council after months of controversy over several issues, including money.

The Granite Shoals Parks Advisory Committee has been leading the charge for park improvements and is now focused on signing up volunteers for everything from painting picnic tables to helping replace playground equipment, which is where the issue of money comes in.

“There were a lot of safety issues, and we knew that a lot of the equipment was going to be removed and we only have so much funds to do it,” committee member Michele Landfield told DailyTrib.com. “The council helped us with giving more funds for the installation part of it.”

Some of the old equipment was installed decades ago. A swing set at Bluebriar Park is 60 years old.

The newly approved improvements budget includes money from the parks budget as well as a restricted fund for city projects. The council also committed to contributing at least $30,000 for the installation of equipment purchased with the approved funding.

While professionals with equipment will be needed for installation, the list of work volunteers can do is long. At the top is painting the picnic tables at Bluebriar Park.

Landfield and committee Vice Chair Shirley King are spearheading the volunteer movement to tackle that list. Currently, 20-30 volunteers are on board for future projects, which could save the city thousands of dollars.

“I am so excited to see this spirit of volunteerism that I am seeing in the city at this time,” King said.

King was a member of the committee at its founding in 2000. She has served eight terms on the Granite Shoals City Council and personally participated in numerous park improvement projects in the city.

The parks committee is seeking further funding and engagement to continue city park improvements. The Adopt-A-Park program is another avenue for city park maintenance and upkeep. Individuals, families, businesses, or organizations can adopt a park by committing to keeping their respective park clean and reporting any damages, missing equipment, or maintenance needs to the city.

Landfield herself has adopted Bluebriar Park.

Those interested in volunteering for Granite Shoals city parks projects must sign a release alleviating the city of responsibility in some cases, including accidents, property damage, or injury. Volunteers can expect to paint, spread mulch, assemble equipment, and other essential tasks.

The best way to become involved in volunteer work for Granite Shoals park projects is to contact Landfield directly at landfieldmichele@gmail.com.

dakota@thepicayune.com