By Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel
WALNUT – Children in Walnut now have a suitable park to run and play and stay safe.
Walnut’s Kids Town officially opened June 20 with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Vicki Skinner. Hundreds of children and their parents attended and broke in the park.
The project, which began as an idea 11 months ago, is finally a reality thanks to volunteers and five days of construction by residents. Kids Town is a park similar to Kidz World in Ripley and is located next to the Walnut Pool.
Construction of the park began in mid-June and volunteer crews worked in shifts through Sunday’s grand opening to complete the project.
“When I took office in July (2009), this was one of the first grants I started on and now the kids have a wonderful place to come and play,” said Skinner. “This has been an everyday project for about two and a half months – getting everything ordered and it’s just great to see it come together. It’s especially great seeing the kids who couldn’t wait to get across the line.”
In her opening remarks, Skinner said the construction was not complete, but it was “a good start.” She has plans to add two bathrooms, an additional pavilion and a walking track.
Construction of the park is being financed by a combination of a $100,000 self-help grant through the state, and donations from residents. About $50,000 will be needed beyond the grant to complete the project.
At least half that amount can be in-kind funds – donations and volunteer labor. As of early last week, about $10,000 had been raised.