City To Officially Open New Westside Park
New neighborhood park on the Westside set to open
City officials will formally dedicate and open the new St. Matthews Community Park on the City's Westside at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15. The new park, located on property owned by St. Matthews Episcopal Church at 101 St. Matthews Lane off W.O. Ezell Boulevard, is part of an ongoing $2.5 million citywide parks improvement plan.
The church has granted the City permission to use the property for a neighborhood playground, which will feature new playground equipment within walking distance of hundreds of families in the Wadsworth Hills neighborhood, and a short drive of several other Westside neighborhoods.
The grand opening will include activities for children following remarks from City Councilman Sterling Anderson, who represents the Westside and who has made increasing parks and recreation opportunities on the City's Westside a priority. St. Matthews Community Park is believed to be the first official city park on the Westside.
"This is a big first step for the Westside, and I want to thank St. Matthews Episcopal Church my fellow Council members for their support of this project," Anderson said. "Access to quality parks and recreation amenities is important to all City residents, and is essential to building the kind of healthy, active community we all want. I'm looking forward to getting this park open and to seeing children and families enjoying St. Matthews Community Park for years to come."
Anderson added that he is interested in other opportunities to develop new parks and recreation amenities on the City's Westside, including perhaps on the City's sprawling Downtown Memorial Airport property. "St. Matthews Community Park is a great example of a small, neighborhood park, but I believe the potential to do something on a larger scale exists at the airport," Anderson said. "Obviously, we must identify a funding plan before we can took realistically about what can be done on that property, and I look forward to working on that with city staff and my colleagues on City Council."
Elsewhere, the City is closing in on the final parts of the parks improvement plan. In addition to the new St. Matthews Community Park, completed improvements include new overflow parking, lighting, and athletic field construction at C.C. Woodson Community Center; and upgrades and improvements to three existing neighborhood parks (Duncan Park, Priscilla Rumley Park and Summerhill Park. Upgrades will be completed at two more neighborhood parks (Hillcrest Park and Happy Hollow Park) in the coming weeks, and construction will begin soon a new multi-purpose activity center at Stewart Park. The parks improvement plan also included $750,000 for new bike/pedestrian trails.