OUR ADVICE: Take advantage of the city’s parks | Opinion

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Kudos to everyone involved in improving our community’s parks.

Our latest edition of McAlester Living magazine took a look at McAlester’s city parks and improvements to Michael J. Hunter Park – and officials’ plans to create an outstanding park system with connecting trails .

Michael J. Hunter was born November 2, 1946, and became the first McAlester native to die during the Vietnam War while trying to rescue a fellow soldier on March 15, 1967. He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Heart purple for his actions.

City workers and a citizen-led initiative began focusing efforts a few years ago to improve the 7.6-acre park named in Hunter’s honor – including the city’s largest wading pool, pavilions, picnic tables, new restrooms, renovated basketball courts, two new pickleball courts, and more.

Local artist Ernest Russell has also completed a large mural that honors Hunter and Vietnam War veterans in the park.

Workers also improved drainage, removed more glass, added parking and improved other conditions at the park as part of the massive project.

We applauded the citizen-led group and city workers for their work to honor the hunter through improvements to the park named in his honor.

We hope this massive effort will not go unnoticed in our community as it provides our children and neighbors with a place to play and cool off in the summer, while adding a place to gather for fun events.

But there is still work to be done – and more work in progress.

City teams are working on the modernization of Rotary Park. The park was born from an idea of ​​the late Bob Saunier, a longtime Rotarian who convinced the local Rotary club and the city to develop the site into a park.

Workers layered the walking path, added ADA-accessible exercise equipment, installed an outdoor water fountain, and made improvements to the park’s drainage.

City officials are also continuing discussions about connecting parks to river trails.

These are just a part of the city’s plans and work in recent years to improve our parks and connect them to walkways.

We thank the municipal authorities for working to improve our quality of life with great parks where we gather for various events, outdoor equipment on the slopes so that we can be in better shape and give us all more things to do.

Our community is better together, and city parks provide us with a gathering place for a variety of things. We hope everyone enjoys the parks and notices the work being done to improve our quality of life.

• McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board

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