July 30, 2014 Edition

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Group effort nets
results at WR park

Walnut Ridge Alderman Ed Lawson (left) and Alex Ruiz of Walnut Ridge paint the fence around a play area for small children during a workday at Stewart Park on Thursday.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen HuntK/i>

Gretchen Hunt

City of Walnut Ridge employees, as well as community members and elected officials, joined forces on Thursday to mark several item’s off the “to do” list at Stewart Park.

“It went really well,” Mayor Don House said. “We are now about two-thirds done with what we want to complete.”

On Thursday, workers roofed two dugouts and partially completed the residing and reroofing of the park’s pump house. They also installed new swings, painted fencing around the toddler play area, referred to as kiddie land, and replaced the nets on the park’s basketball courts.

Work is also underway on the park’s tennis courts, sand volleyball court and soccer fields.

House said in addition to adding new goals that were constructed locally, the soccer fields will be leveled with assistance from the county.

Mulching the playground area is also in progress.

“That takes a considerable amount of material,” House said. “The mulch will be eight to 10 inches deep. We plan to complete that this week.”

Thursday’s efforts also resulted in approximately 300 trees being trimmed around, leaving weedeating to be done around about 80 more trees.

“We hope to be able to complete that this week, as well,” House said. “We also trimmed a lot of trees, taking out dead limbs, especially along the roadway.”

He said part of making the park more usable is placing a greater emphasis on spraying for mosquitoes and destroying mosquito habitat.

Other recent work by the city includes the addition of two water fountains and some block work around the memorial tree for Chelsey Linebaugh. Gravel has also been added in several areas around the park.

House said while some from the public assisted with Thursday’s work day, it was primarily a day set aside by the city for its employees to pitch in at the park.

“Some worked during regular shift time, but some worked during time off,” he said. “It was nice to see the general cooperation of everyone working for a common goal. We are all proud of our park and want to make it look better.”

House said the park is well used by people with various interest, including, fishing, walking and athletics.

“We want to make it a more enjoyable park and encourage people to go out and enjoy it,” he said. “We want people to utilize it and want to make it as usable as possible.”

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