Park improvements now complete

Published 12:53 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Swing, swing: Luke Ellison of Clanton enjoys a day at the park with his mother, Ashley Ellison.

With additional lighting and other improvements, the town of Thorsby hopes to make Richard Wood Park a safer and more attractive place for families.

The town recently completed a $15,000 lighting project in the park, replacing all the old fixtures with concrete fixtures and adding several new lights. They also installed new electrical outlets that will be convenient to vendors in events like the upcoming Swedish Festival.

The project was paid for through past Swedish Festival funds and a state grant secured by Rep. Jimmy Martin.

Uptown look: The new light fixtures at Richard Wood Park are the same kind used by the city of Memphis.

“Richard Wood Park is our centerpiece of the town, so we want to always maintain it and promote it by adding to it whenever we get the opportunity,” said Thorsby Mayor Dearl Hilyer.

There is an interesting story behind the new light fixtures. They were manufactured for the city of Memphis, but the city rejected them because of a color variation in the concrete. Thorsby was able to purchase the 15 fixtures at half price, at about $1,000 per fixture.

The park is now better illuminated at night, which is hoped to help cut down on any criminal activity. Hilyer said the only problems in the past have been graffiti and vandalism in the bathrooms.

“There were some dark spots that could open opportunities for bigger problems,” he said.

Richard Wood Park, located between Highway 31 and Alabama Avenue, offers a shaded walking trail, pavilion and children’s playground equipment. The park pavilion is available for family events and may be reserved by calling city hall at 646-3575.

The annual Thorsby Swedish Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16.