Louisville Park Getting Attention

A local community is coming together to kick-off a major campaign to refurbish what was once a park set aside for African-Americans.

Supporters of this effort in Louisville, Miss., say lack of attention to Dean Park has taken a toll, but that will be changing.

"Friends of Dean Park" has initiated a grassroots effort to raise between $80,000 and $100,000 to buy new playground equipment.

Daycare owner Deborah Holmes was the first to donate $1,000.

"You look at the slide. It's too steep for the children. They can easily come down and and bump their head. So, that just needs to come down," said Holmes.

According to supporters, erosion has caused a lot of the problems that have led to cracks in fences, asphalt and what was once level land.

Over the years, group leaders say this park has largely been neglected. One example of it is on the tennis court which officials say was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. However, FEMA funds were never sought to fix it.

With the help of a commission for the park that was formed by Winston County supervisors, private donations and volunteers, the Friends of Dean Park has painted murals on park structures, planted flowers, grass and helped to restore a rundown pavilion.

Founded just a year-and-a-half ago, organizers say the group is making a difference.

"It was a park where many people hung out, drank, smoked marijuana and that's no longer happening here on a large scale," said Elmetra Patterson of Friends of Dean Park. "People have started to respect what we are doing. They're becoming a part of what we are doing and it's no longer a littered park."

Patterson says the goal is to ultimately offer tutoring and even more sports activities at Dean Park. As for the new playground equipment, she says they hope to have that in place by June.

Anyone interested in helping financially may send donations to:
Friends of Dean Park Playground Equipment
P. O. Box 365
Louisville, MS 39339

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  • by Anonymous on Dec 25, 2009 at 12:22 AM
    Hey, this half twitted cow is mooing in greener pastures, no doubt, and, be proud, man--- it's attitudes like yours that keep my money in north Mississippi. Tear down the Threefoot.... squabble over a dern bridge...and for heavens sake, keep the green dump boxes. And be proud of yourself. You're a bona fide Mississippi redneck. Yeehaw.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 24, 2009 at 01:41 PM
    Yea....and the best thing you could continue to do is stay away from Meridian....Another thing, theres NOTHING about MS thats holding me back from anything, you half twitted cow..... For Mattie, thanks for the clarrification. In that case if the park was created in '72 and they're just now trying to 'restore'??? please
  • by Mattie Location: Richmond on Dec 24, 2009 at 09:23 AM
    FYI. The park is not fairly new. The park was created in 1972. The Friends of Dean Park was founded May 3, 2008. The park has been neglected for years, but with friends like YOU the park will be restore. It does make sense to send your donation ASAP.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 23, 2009 at 09:00 PM
    "Fairly new" refers to the organization that began, one and a half years ago, to raise funds to restore the playground. Another fine example of east Mississippi negativism that holds you all back. I swear, the best thing I ever did was leave Meridian, MS.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 23, 2009 at 06:53 PM
    The park is fairly new so you mean that money will be "spent" to 'restore' a playground that will be neglected again in a few months? Doesnt make sense at all
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