Park work much needed, appreciated

Published 12:06 am Thursday, June 26, 2014

Generations of Natchez area residents, visitors and their four-legged friends have relaxed under the shade of the enormous oak trees at Memorial Park off Main Street.

The park is among the small jewels that dot Natchez’s crown as a great, livable city.

But during the past few years, the crown became a bit tarnished. Visitors stumbled and the Rovers and Fidos of the world had to learn to navigate their paws around the trouble spots.

Email newsletter signup

The sidewalks throughout the park had became broken and in disrepair.

But the problems were not confined just to the ground.

The beautiful fountain in the park — restored several years ago thanks to significant work by a group of volunteers — has become tarnished and paint peels off the cast iron fountain statuary.

While the fountain still needs attention, over the last few weeks the City of Natchez has begun an effort to replace all of the park’s sidewalks.

The work is funded, in part, by a $25,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Youth Corps program. The grant, while small in the grand scope of the city’s budget, is important as it helps get something badly in need of repair fixed, but it also employs five young people from the area for the summer.

Thanks to the City of Natchez and Community Development Director James Johnston for the work to secure the grant and apply the work to something needed in the city.