Park plans

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

By By Lydia Grimes and Kerry Whipple Bean
Imagine a fountain with children splashing around; an outdoor theater for watching movies; a peaceful pergola for walking.
Imagine all of those activities available right in downtown Brewton.
The city's Quality of Life Committee has imagined such changes for Burnt Corn Creek Park and then some - the committee is planning fundraisers, including a songwriters festival, and seeking corporate sponsorships for the massive project, estimated at $1.5 million.
Grosso said the committee found a design for an outdoor bandstand and theater Lepers Fork, Tenn., a small town outside Nashville.
The designs from Lepers Fork, which uses a log-cabin look for its buildings, would fit well in Brewton, which has benefited so much from the timber industry, said Carol Gordy, chairman of the Quality of Life Committee.
Gordy said she hopes the improvements will bring more people to the downtown area.
Gordy is hoping for an &#8220ooh-aah factor” from the park improvements, making them a recognizable feature in Brewton for residents and visitors alike.
The splash fountain would be a place for children to enjoy water games in the summer, while a &#8220lawn chair theater” with a pull-down screen would be a place to watch movies, Gordy said.
The entire project could cost as much as $1.5 million, Gordy said, to improve the park &#8220the way we want to do it. We can do it in sections and stages.”
The Quality of Life Committee, formed in 2005, is a product of Brewton's participation in the Alabama Communities of Excellence program. ACE encourages communities to enhance their quality of life and economy through citizen and municipal partnerships.
The first goal of the Burnt Corn Creek project is to build a bandstand/outdoor theater in the downtown park and follow it with the construction of a pergola, splash fountain, concession stand and skateboard park, Grosso said. With the disk golf course already there, it will have something for everyone.
Such projects are just what ACE is all about, Mayor Ted Jennings said.
Corporate sponsorships for the park project - and for the songwriters festival that will benefit the work - are available at various levels, from $250 to $100,000.
Sponsorship will be acknowledged with plaques at the various sites in the park, such as the lawn chair theater and bandstand.
For the festival, sponsors will have VIP seating and complimentary tickets and will be invited to an after-party with the performers.
Gordy said sponsorship is important to the success of the park.

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