Asheville – MLK, Jr. Park was upgraded recently with an all new and safer playground. Despite the cold weather, the ribbon for the park was cut by Mayor Terry Bellamy and others November 17th making the official opening a success.
Children in the East End neighborhood joined in on the festivities and were the first to use the new equipment. The renovation for the park was long overdue.
“I think this means a lot to the community,” said Sandra Travis, festivals program supervisor, “there is a strong neighborhood association here who were very supportive towards this project. This is one of the areas that have been targeted for years to be renovated; it provides a base for the community, and with the tough economic times families can’t pay for places they may have gone to in the past, so its very important they have a free place to play.”
Cleaning and renovating the park has been planned since 2009. The 2,400 square foot playground features 19 play components and bright bold colors.
The East End/Valley Street neighborhood association president, Renee White, was overjoyed.
“This means a lot. The playground equipment was pretty old and we had a few kids who would come and play but it was becoming unsafe.” For White, the main reason for this park is for the safety and protection of the kids. “We have to make sure there are no dangers and that the equipment is safe to play on.”
The new playground facility is a place for kids to be kids, have fun, explore, and stay healthy and fit. Giving back to the community is something that Roderick Simmons, director of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts, wants the community to know that they do.
“I think this means a lot to the community,” he said, “showing that the city invests in their quality of life, by offering the citizens an area like this. This gives the citizens a place to enjoy their neighborhood and the place that they are living.”
As far as other upcoming parks or renovations, Simmons gave a little laugh.
“What we try to do is improve are facilities to keep up with the demand of the citizens in terms of making sure that all our facilities are accessible and that we offer a variety of things that the citizens would like to enjoy. We try to make improvements every year.”