Fairpark board to slow down on accepting gifts

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The governing board of Fairpark is discussing a moratorium on new permanent public art in the park in between City Hall and Main Street.
“I love what we have down there,” said John Oxford, chairman of the Tupelo Redevelopment Agency. “A lot of people have a lot of good ideas. We just need to slow down and preserve what we have for future community events and not turn it into a statue park.”
The Fairpark green space is home to many gifts. One of the first donations was the popular Frances Purvis Reed Fountain, a popular attraction for kids of all ages. Private donors gave money for the benches around the fountain and the trees around the Fairpark gate.
In 2005, the Rotary Club of Tupelo commissioned a sculpture of Chief Piomingo for Fairpark. Since then, TRA has voted and approved donations of a playground, a special-needs playground, an Alzheimer’s memory tree sculpture and an 11-foot-tall statue of Elvis.
Two of the donations were part of senior projects from students at Tupelo High School.
“It clearly shows how interested the public is in this area,” Oxford said. “Everything out there is staying. We just need to make sure that we’re keeping that space clean and open for the community.”
Plus, TRA’s long-range plan calls for a public restroom facility to be built somewhere in the park.
“It’s something we’re working towards, slowly but steadily,” Oxford said.
He said the moratorium will help the board put the restrooms in a convenient location once the money is raised for the project. The proposed moratorium only is for the park on Main Street and doesn’t include other areas of Fairpark.
“We’ll entertain any other ideas for Fairpark,” Oxford said.
To reach Fairpark’s planners, email info@FairparkDistrict.com.

Click video to hear audio