Park progress

Published 4:24 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2007

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
A trail from Burnt Corn Creek Park to O'Bannon Park and beyond has been in the vision for Brewton's future for years.
But the project is much closer to reality now that the city has received a $514,000 grant to build the walking and biking trail.
Mayor Ted Jennings announced Tuesday that the city has received the money through a TEA-21 transportation enhancement grant administered by the Alabama Department of Transportation. Gov. Bob Riley sent the letter that confirms the funds, which originate from a federal program.
The bicycle and pedestrian path would go from Burnt Corn Creek Park to O'Bannon Park, Jennings said.
Work on the project could take up to a year to begin, Jennings said. The grant requires a 20 percent match, which can be in-kind.
The walking trail project is just one of several efforts to improve Brewton's downtown parks.
The city's Quality of Life Committee has been raising funds to add several attractions to Burnt Corn Creek Park, including an outdoor theater, concession stand and welcome center, all built in a log-cabin style to emphasize Brewton's connection to the timber industry. That project's cost has been estimated at $1.5 million, and the first major fundraiser - a songwriters festival - was held in February. Corporate donations are also encouraged for the project.
Meanwhile, an anonymous donor has provided the funds for landscape plans and improvements at City Park, next to the courthouse. Those plans include a new clock tower, landscaping, a larger gazebo and a fountain.
Jennings said the all of the projects will help improve Brewton's downtown area. &#8220All of this ties together,” he said.