Commentary: Richard Wood Park a Thorsby favorite
By Lisa Moon
In the center of the town of Thorsby sits a park across the street from City Hall on U.S. Highway 31. The beautiful park started out as a mobile home park people refer to as being ‘rough.’ When the mobile home park went up for sale, the town quickly bought it. The land was turned into a well-manicured recreational park that gets used everyday. The town named the park after one of its favorite citizens, Richard Wood of Wood Drug Company.
“He was always a good person,” says Joni Wyatt, about the former pharmacist. “He would help anyone.”
Wood took care of the good folks of Thorsby, and they take good care of his park.
In all types of weather, people can be seen walking on the winding trail that wraps around the park. On the hottest days, people come to walk under the beautiful shade trees. Even during the worst storms, raincoat-clad walkers can be seen making their laps to the amazement of most.
“We love that it is not a continuous circle,” says Becky Garrison, who walks the park several times a week with her friend, Angela Hicks. They walk together to catch up on things. The children – Abby and Kaitlyn Garrison and Rianna Green – walk with them. The girls love the big trees.
Hope Falotico brings her boys – Anthony, Balen and Chandler – a few times a week to run and play in the park. She says that the park never makes her feel nervous like some other parks do.
“It feels safe, not isolated,” she says, as she gives Anthony another push on the swing.
On July third everyone meets in the park to celebrate our nation’s independence. In October, the town hosts the Swedish Festival to celebrate the town’s Swedish heritage. The Thorsby football team can be seen running laps under the shade trees. There are too many events held in the park to mention. It is truly a park the late Richard Wood and his lovely wife Julia can be very proud of, as well as the citizens of Thorsby.