Ocean Springs Recreation Upgrades Include New Splash Park

Lemoyne Park will soon look brighter, safer, and more inviting. Crews are improving the lighting system to showcase the newly-installed equipment, basketball courts, and other upgrades. Megan Smith and her siblings are already taking advantage of the new additions to their neighborhood park.

"It was kind of rundown you know, but they put in the new swings and playground thing," said 15-year-old Megan Smith. "It's nicer now."

"It's really fun and I like to get on the Monkey Bar and stuff like that and swing," said 8-year-old Lilly Smith. "Before, it was just swings."

Lemoyne Park is one of ten public playgrounds and ball fields in Ocean Springs that are getting some much-needed TLC.

"Several of our parks are going to get upgrades with new swing sets, new playgrounds, new surfaces on the ball fields," said Ocean Springs Parks Director Sean Campbell. "A lot of things that needed to be done probably in the last 10-15 years that wasn't so much neglected, but may have been overlooked or may have been on the bottom of the priority scale."

All the rusty chain-link fences will come down, and be replaced with more durable, vinyl-coated fencing. And all the parks will be getting new trash bins, benches, and signs to make them look more uniform and attractive.

The biggest change will take place at Clay-Boyd Park. Workers are tearing out the old asphalt and outdated equipment to make room for a cool, wet attraction.

"Clay-Boyd Park is highly under-used," Campbell said. "This is one that we're going to put a lot of effort into. It's going to be the future site of a 2,000 sq. ft. spray park and brand, new playground facility right next to it.  We're trying to revitalize the park a little bit."

It's a revitalization project aimed at restoring pride in the city's recreational facilities.

"It shows that they care, that we have something to play with," Megan Smith said. "Yeah, they're doing this for us."

The city's Public Works Department must first resolve water and drainage issues, before work on the Splash Park can begin. Improvements at all the city parks should be finished by the end of 2008.