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Local parks receive grants

Put to use: Chilton County Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Arrington explains to guests the improvements that have taken place at Higgins Ferry Park as a result of a grant from Cawaco Resource Conservation and Development. (Photos by Anna Adams)

Put to use: Chilton County Parks and Recreation Director Gerald Arrington explains to guests the improvements that have taken place at Higgins Ferry Park as a result of a grant from Cawaco Resource Conservation and Development. (Photos by Anna Adams)

By Anna Adams | Special to the Advertiser

 

Visitors to two local parks will enjoy some new improvements on their upcoming trips.

Higgins Ferry Park at Lake Mitchell and Minooka Park in Jemison both received separate grants of $5,000 from Cawaco Resource Conservation and Development.

Cawaco RC&D is a non-profit agency that supports the conservation of natural resources and encourages economic development in Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby and Walker counties.

The grants were applied for at the end of 2014 and were completed by July.

At Higgins Ferry Park, the grant was used to build a walking trail that connects the campsites to the parking lot at the shoreline of Lake Mitchell, install fire rings at each campsite and install new park benches, Park Ranger Derek Collum said.

Grant presentation: Guests at a grant presentation ceremony at Higgins Ferry Park included Park Ranger Derek Collum, Park Director Gerald Arrington, County Administrator Connie Powell, County Commissioner Joe Headley, State Sen. Cam Ward, Cawaco representative Patti Penington, Jessie Binion and Jackie Baker of West End Neighborhood Watch, Industrial Development Coordinator Fred Crawford and Drayton Cosby with Cawaco.

Grant presentation: Guests at a grant presentation ceremony at Higgins Ferry Park included Park Ranger Derek Collum, Park Director Gerald Arrington, County Administrator Connie Powell, County Commissioner Joe Headley, State Sen. Cam Ward, Cawaco representative Patti Penington, Jessie Binion and Jackie Baker of West End Neighborhood Watch, Industrial Development Coordinator Fred Crawford and Drayton Cosby with Cawaco.

New equipment: Powell, Arrington, Ward and Penington stand with the newly built playground at Minooka Park.

New equipment: Powell, Arrington, Ward and Penington stand with the newly built playground at Minooka Park.

“We have families that come every week and use the new features we have here at the park; they are really being enjoyed,” Collum said.

Higgins Ferry Park, located 10 miles east of Clanton, provides a variety of activities such as swimming, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities for families.

“We are very excited to be able to help the community here at Higgins Ferry Park,” said Patti Penington, a representative of Cawaco. “We’re glad to be able to partner with them as well as [Lake Mitchell Home Owners and Boat Owners Association] and improve the facilities here.”

At Minooka Park in Jemison, the grant was used to install a new playground that overlooks part of the lake.

Minooka offers camping, fishing, ATV/off-roading, hiking trails and more for families wanting a convenient getaway.

“We really had a need for something for the kids to do,” said Gerald Arrington, director of parks and recreation for Chilton County. “We have a lot of families that come camping and once they got done fishing, there wasn’t a whole lot for the kids to do, and that’s when Cawaco stepped in and helped out with the playground equipment.

“We really appreciate Cawaco and their assistance in helping us provide the new furnishings at both parks. I know guests will really enjoy them.”

For anyone looking for a local getaway, both of these parks provide fun for all ages, as well as an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

For more information, call Higgins Ferry Park at (205) 312-1146 or Minooka Park at (205) 287-1214.