Park upgrades ongoing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Staff Writer

Murphree Park has undergone a total make over this year and more improvements are pending.

Dan Smith, director of the Troy Parks and Recreation Department, has outlined plans for a $50,000-grant and the $10,000 match from the city.

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Those plans include more lighting on the walking trail and the addition of a parking area where the sand volleyball court used to be.

"We’re going to add a nice parking lot that will park around 30 cars," Smith said.

"Then, we’ll be adding 25 decorative lights around the walking trail and parking lot."

The black, antique-looking light poles will provide both decoration and security to the park.

Smith said by adding the lights, city officials hope to give more people a chance to take advantage of the one-third of a mile walking trail.

"It’s going to make a world of difference in the amount of light on the park at night," Smith said.

Other plans include the addition of benches and picnic tables around the playground area.

Already, Smith is proud of what the community has accomplished during the Murphree Park renovation.

"Looking back at the year’s projects, I’m really proud," Smith said. "The Murphree Park project was one of the best we’ve ever done."

The Exchange Club of Troy spearheaded a fund-raising project to renovate the community park .

The civic club raised the money to purchase new playground equipment made of steel and industrial-strength plastic.

Giffen Recreation of Birmingham created plans for the frontier village theme that includes a play area for children age 6 and under, as well as equipment for older children.

The park also features a wooden stage and a 10-station fitness area for adults.

Now, improvements continue with the parking lot and lights.

"Even in the past couple of weeks I’ve heard a lot of comments," Smith said.

This past week, a new family to Troy stopped by to purchase hand tiles they learned about when visiting the park.

Hand tiles are part of the ongoing efforts to raise money for improvements.

The "Wall of Hands" is made of sections approximately three feet tall and a combined 100 feet long, with colorful hand prints. Each hand print is on a 6×6-inch ceramic tile that is glazed with a permanent finish and fired in a kiln. The individual’s name is also added to the tile so, years down the road, children and grandchildren can see the mementos of childhood.

Anyone wishing to purchase a hand tile for $50 can stop by the Parks and Recreation Department office. For more information, call 566-4031.