Community Rebuilds Bayou View Park

Thursday, Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr gave his state of the city address, updating Gulfport's hurricane recovery efforts. It's a recovery that's being helped along by residents pitching in and helping the commmunity heal.

One such project is the restoration of Gulfport's Bayou View Park, which started a year ago. With just a few weeks left until the park reopens, organizers say the rebuilding process is far from over.

"The Junior Auxiliary really wanted to see the playground equipment that was destroyed during the storm. They wanted to see that playground equipment come back to life and it was a little too soon for the city to be of any assistance at all at that point," says Andi Rushton, Co-Chair of Miracle in the Park.

Rushton and members of Gulfport's Junior Auxiliary called on people in the Bayou View Community for help and the money started pouring in, one donation at a time.

"I just think it's such a big part of our community that we all need to do our part. And we want it to look better, so if we can only give a little bit of money, that's a good way to get things going," says June Vincent, Owner of 'As You Like It.'

Cindy Creel, who also works for the store, agrees.

"There are numerous people in the community that have bent over backwards to help us with this project on a volunteer basis. No one is being paid for it. It's just because they want their community to be better for our children."

Leaders say the new Bayou View Park will have lights, a walking trail, park benches and a "state of the art playground."

"We had to regroup and figure out how can we help kids. At that time with so many recreational activities not available and the parks destroyed, we found it important to children's mental and emotional health to have a place to play," says Jamie Pappas.

The park will open on March 24th. However, leaders say they are still in need of about $20,000 to repair the tennis courts and build a basketball court. If you want to make a donation to Miracle in the Park you can call (228) 234-4950.