Park funds raised in donations

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Three years’ worth of work on the part of city leaders and concerned citizens to get a park for small children installed in north Natchez is about to come to fruition.

In Tuesday’s Natchez Board of Aldermen meeting, city Recreation Director Ralph Tedder announced $32,443 in donations had been raised for the park, which will be equipped for children 2 to 6 years old.

&uot;We’ve pulled rabbits out of hats all over town&uot; to raise money for the project, Tedder said.

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The funds, raised from a variety of local businesses and organizations, will be used to do site work and install playground equipment at the site at Madison and Wall streets.

The city’s Recreation Department is currently getting quotes for rubber mats and other materials to create a soft &uot;fall surface&uot; for the site. Most construction will take place next month, with the park set to open in February.

Tedder gave much credit to the Chamber of Commerce’s immediate past chairman, Fred Middleton, and the chairman of the Natchez-Adams County Community Alliance, David Gardner, for leading a push to raise the last $8,000 for the project.

City officials also praised others &045; along with them, the donors, Tedder and Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux, in whose Ward 1 the park sites &045; for continuing to push for the project through lean economic times.

The park will include small playground equipment including a &uot;climber,&uot; a slide, swings and rocking horse-type equipment, as well as benches and youth-sized picnic tables.

Arceneaux has said the facility is vitally needed because small children have nowhere else to play but in the streets.