Biloxi Parks To Get Volunteer Help - - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi Parks To Get Volunteer Help

Biloxi residents missing the neighborhood parks that have been closed since Hurricane Katrina have reason to celebrate. The city's recreation director says over the next two months, two volunteer groups - Injury Free Coalition and Kaboom - will put up playgrounds at three city parks. The first one is set to go up this weekend.

"It's meant a lot to us to have the park," said Biloxi resident Carol Rigby.

For her and other neighbors, Miramar Park is more than the slides, swings and sand. It's a part of the community."

"We've had birthday parties down there. We've had get-togethers. We had a mini family reunion down there one time. We've done a lot down there," she said.

"We really miss it. The kids really want to go down there, but you can't let them go down there because there's really no park. So we really need it to come back for the community."

On Monday, a truck load of donated equipment arrived at the Biloxi Recreation Department for a new playground set to go up on Popp's Ferry Road. Director Nathan Sullivan says Miramar and Henry Beck parks will also have new playgrounds soon. All the work is being done by volunteer groups that, Sullivan says, have really come through for neighborhood parks since Katrina.

"It meant that these areas were cleaned and put back in operation much sooner than had city forces had been able to do it, because they were busy doing other things," said Sullivan. "It's helped a lot that way. These newer groups coming in and wanting to build these new playgrounds, that too will help a lot. We're getting three playgrounds that are totally donated and done by volunteers."

Rigby says she can't wait to once again see children playing at Miramar.

"It's on the kids priority list because there are more and more kids in this community. At one point there were a lot of older people, but now the kids are coming back, so it means a lot to everybody here to have the park," said Rigby.

The group, Injury Free Coalition, is looking for volunteers to put up the playground equipment by the Margaret Sherry Library on Saturday. If you are interested, be at the library at 8 a.m. A light breakfast and lunch will be served.

by Danielle Thomas

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