Minooka one of county’s treasures

Published 5:47 pm Friday, December 11, 2009

I am writing this letter in hopes of encouraging Chilton County residents to take advantage of a wonderful resource we have available located here in Chilton County.

I, along with several other committee members, recently had the opportunity to plan a faculty/staff Christmas party for Jemison Middle School. When original plans fell through as to the “where,” I immediately decided to try to contact Minooka Park in Jemison about the possibility of hosting it out there.

I was out there last December to check out the grounds for a professional development activity for our teachers, so I knew it would be a great place to go. Plus, all of the people I work with who had not been out there in many years would have the perfect opportunity to revisit an “old friend.”

Gerald Arrington, the park manager, was extremely helpful in assisting us plan our party. Not only did he help us get everything organized but accommodated our requests for seating.

He decorated the office and rooms where we would be having the party. He strung lights all around the office building and deck (in the freezing cold) and decorated the inside of the meeting rooms with a Christmas tree. We had a nice, warm fireplace inside and even enjoyed the spacious deck with the aid of fire pits we brought. All we had to do was show up.

Not being from Chilton County originally, I do not have the fondness of Minooka Park that some of my people who are Chilton County natives hold. I do not know what it looked like before the restoration, but I can honestly say that is it something to behold now.

I encourage all of you to take advantage of the many resources Minooka Park has to offer. Not only can you walk miles and miles of trails, ride ATVs, or just enjoy the beautiful scenery, but you, too, can rent the building for a nominal fee.

I feel confident in saying that Mr. Arrington welcomes anyone who desires to rent the facilities at Minooka.

Our faculty and staff thoroughly enjoyed having our party out at Minooka Park and are already planning on having our next one at the end of the year out there as well.

Thanks to all of the people who worked on restoring Minooka Park, who work to maintain it, and those who are constantly striving to improve it because it is truly one of Chilton County’s treasures!

If you have not visited Minooka lately or in years like so many of my fellow teachers, I hope you will add it to your to do list very soon.

– Shonda Copen, Jemison Middle School