A series of public park renovations is about to take another turn as the City of Cullman turns its attention to Nesmith Park.

The new plan for the neighborhood park near West Elementary School will re-invent and expand the purposes, not only for the neighborhood but for the community, said Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Director Nathan Anderson.

“We’ve conducted forums, met with members of the Cullman City Council, the school system, just as many people as possible to find and try to meet the needs of the community,” Anderson said. “Years ago, for example, the decision was made to shut down the swimming pool because of its condition and the cost of repair not being feasible. We had a commitment to come back with a water element for the park, which will be a splash pad.”

While the plans are drawn, the details of securing a matching grant are in the final phase for funding the renovation. A federal Land Water Conservation Fund grant is available for $350,000, which would have to be matched by the city for up to the same amount. A decision to move forward could come this month after details are finalized, which would place the work beginning at some point in 2019.

The park today consists of a ball field and playground, but the new plan adds multiple uses to Nesmith.

“The junior varsity baseball team at the high school needs more field space and this park fits perfectly with for this. We can also use the field for other tournaments during the year,” Anderson said. “We’re able to check a lot of needs with this park.”

Anderson said lighting was a key concern for residents in the area, which can be addressed in the parking and the planned walking trail.

“This is one of the renovations of our parks that we’re really excited to see happen,” Anderson said. “Our goal is to provide more green spaces for sports, exercise and family activities that serve a wide range of needs and requests in our city. This is an excellent location and space to accomplish more for our residents.”

Nesmith Park is located at 3rd Street SW and 311 McNabb Drive SW and sits on about 14 acres of land. Anderson said the park will continue to be open sunrise to sundown, except in the future when evening ballgame or events are planned.

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David Palmer has decades of experience in the newspaper industry. He currently serves as editor of The Cullman Times.

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