BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) – As you drive through Walker Park in Blytheville, you can see some new features are being installed.
Walker Park is one of three parks in the city, but it is considered the flagship park, and there is a push to improve it.
Blytheville Park and Activities Director Cody Wyatt-Slay said so far they have replaced slides that were damaged on playground equipment, installing new lights around the tennis courts, and moving the parks office to Walker Park.
“So we have also installed cameras, we put on a new coat of paint on the building, but also replaced sides that have been busted over the years and broken,” Slay said.
The park has six tennis courts behind the office building that were built in the 1970′s, but tennis is not as popular as it was back then.
“So we’re working toward repurposing the tennis courts, maybe adding basketball, fitness courts, just other activities for all of our citizens to enjoy,” she said.
Before Friday, there was no lighting at the tennis courts, but installing the lights will keep the courts lit up until 10 p.m. when the park closes.
So just how is the city paying for the new upgrades.
“So the parks and rec tax for the city of Blytheville is spread between several different groups. Between the golf course and our sportsplex, but the parks have a huge chunk of that and we invest those tax dollars right back into what the citizens use every day,” Slay said.
Other ways they work to pay for the improvements is through partnerships within the community.
Slay also applied for a grant and some of the improvements she hopes to make include making the park safe for walkers and bikers.
“So we’re going to apply for a grant to repave some of the surfaces adding more sidewalks, maybe expanding the walking train, just to make it safer for our patrons.”
If you would like to help the park or schedule an event, you can call Slay at 870-740-9935, go by the parks office at the entrance of Walker Park on Ruddle Road, or fill out a form on the city’s website.
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