Keep­ing it clean

Vol­un­teers beau­tify J.L. King for Adopt-A-Park

Starkville Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By RYAN PHILLIPS ed­i­tor@starkvilledai­

Vol­un­teers from the Ok­tibbeha County NAACP braved the chilly weather on Sun­day af­ter­noon to make sure one of the city’s cher­ished parks was free of lit­ter.

The ef­fort at J.L. King Park was part of AdoptA-Part, or­ga­nized by Starkville In Mo­tion, with the goal of main­tain­ing and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of Starkville’s parks.

“We just want peo­ple to take part in their community,” said Starkville In Mo­tion trea­surer Chris Ay­ers.

Ok­tibbeha County NAACP Pres­i­dent Chris Tay­lor pointed to new play­ground equip­ment at the park and stressed the im­por­tance of hav­ing

a clean en­vi­ron­ment that the community is in­vested in.

“We adopted this park, so Mon­day we will come through and see what is broke, and will po­lice it, make notes of what is bro­ken and turn it in to the parks and rec, along with Starkville In Mo­tion,”

Tay­lor said.

In­terim Parks and Recre­ation Di­rec­tor Gerry Lo­gan praised the ef­fort, say­ing the depart­ment is ex­cited to have lo­cal groups who care enough about these pub­lic spa­ces to give back.

“Today’s ef­forts by the lo­cal NAACP and Starkville In Mo­tion are very ap­pre­ci­ated,” Lo­gan said. “We look

for­ward to sup­port­ing other sim­i­lar vol­un­teer ini­tia­tives in the fu­ture.”

Yu­landa Had­dix was among the vol­un­teers at J.L. King on Sun­day and said most of the peo­ple in­volved in the cleanup ef­fort grew up in the community and have val­ued the park for decades.

“I re­mem­ber when there was a swim­ming pool here

and we hope to bring it back to life and let the community be part of it,” Had­dix said.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill has been an ac­tive sup­porter of the city’s parks and said the ef­fort was a strong in­di­ca­tor of the com­mit­ment of community mem­bers to share in the re­spon­si­bil­ity of mak­ing Starkville the best it can be.

“Cit­i­zen en­gage­ment is crit­i­cal to our fu­ture and it is in­spi­ra­tional,” Spruill said. “I am so proud of those who took their time to give back. I love for­ward to so much more of this par­tic­i­pa­tion. It’s what makes us neigh­bors.”

The Ok­tibbeha County NAACP also urges more community in­volve­ment through the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“I think the NAACP is a na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion that needs to be rec­og­nized,” said Mike Had­dix. “It needs to be more prom­i­nent in our com­mu­ni­ties, and we need to reach out to the com­mu­ni­ties to be a part of it. So we im­plore them to join the NAACP and be a part of the community and to work hard to bet­ter our or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

By Ryan Phillips, SDN) (Photo

The Ok­tibbeha County NAACP and Starkville In Mo­tion part­nered to see J.L. King Se­nior Memorial Park cleaned up. Pic­tured, (from left) Dwight Burch­field, Mike Had­dix, Yu­landa Had­dix, Wren Ay­ers, Chris Ay­ers, Chris Tay­lor, and Wil­lie Earl Thomas, Sr.

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