Those in the northwestern area of Starkville now have a new place to exercise and walk with the refurbishment and dedication of a walking track at J.L. King Park.
The project was part of the Starkville Parks and Recreation Department's improvement plan, and was moved forward after the department received a $25,000 grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. In total, the project cost came to a little less than $32,000.
A ceremony and ribbon-cutting was held with addresses from Starkville Parks and Recreation Executive Director Gerry Logan, Starkville City Engineer Edward Kemp, Mayor Lynn Spruill and Marvin King, the youngest son of Pastor J.L. King.
“(We had) minor delays due to some unforeseen complications, but we got it done,” Logan said.
Logan said the grant had moved the project up the timeline considerably.
Spruill spoke to the importance of citizen engagement, and the degree to which it was shown with the park projects.
“Through the remaining almost two years of this administration, we’ve got a lot of great things that I see ahead for us, and I am delighted to say thank you to all the people who have brought this together to make it happen, and people who have been using it.”
In his address, King discussed the legacy of his father on the Starkville community. He also expressed gratitude for the work done on the park as well as the revitalization of the J.L. King Center located within.
“He gave up his time,” King said. “He gave up his talent. He gave up his resources. He was a soldier for justice and a warrior for peace. I hope if you have time, you will look at that monument over there on the side (of the center). It says just that.”
For more on this story, read Thursday's Starkville Daily News.