MOULTRIE, Ga. -- Northwest Park’s construction took more than three-fourths of 2020 to complete, but as of Sept. 11 people of all manners can come and enjoy its newly revived atmosphere.

The City of Moultrie held a grand opening for the park Friday with Mayor Bill McIntosh officiating. He said the community will be having tons of fun out there before long.

That’s post-COVID-19, of course.

“I can envision people having parties and picnics and children playing out here in bouncy houses,” McIntosh said. “This is a wonderful addition to the city of Moultrie.”

And this “wonderful addition” came out of an expenditure of $143,143.47 sans the reserve $12,000 held in case of inflation.

This budget provided the park with renewed landscaping, a storm drain, two park benches; two picnic tables with concrete pads underneath; an oak tree; and a 12,250-square-foot concrete space with two full-size basketball courts, new restriping and goals.

There’s also fencing around the entire park and fencing around the basketball courts, with a parking lot created using recycled millings to accommodate those visiting from afar.

Freddie Farrell, the city’s assistant beautification supervisor, was ecstatic seeing the park’s finished product. Having lived in Moultrie his entire life, he said the park is a far cry from what he grew up with.

There used to be a ditch coming down the middle of the park, Farrell explained. He, some family members and neighbors would come to it after heavy rain, fill a tire with air and ride the makeshift canal with it.

“It’s totally different than what it used to be and it’s just nicer [now],” he said. “I’m just so happy and thrilled to know that the city took the time out to get over here and even over in Southeast.”

Farrell, who was in charged of the park’s maintenance and landscaping, said the grass isn’t growing at the Southeast park as quickly as it did in Northwest, but it’s still coming along. 

Still, the progress is exciting for him. 

Farrell got to see the results of his work prior to the grand opening in seeing some of the community members bring coolers to the park, a precaution in case a basketball game ran long.

It gave him hope because if they’re enjoying it, surely his grandchildren will too. He himself took the time to enjoy the park alongside his girlfriend a few days prior to the grand opening.

“We went over there, sat on that bench and she said, ‘Oh, this is so nice. Freddie, this is so nice,’” he regaled. “I said, ‘I know.’”

She asked why didn’t he put more trees on the park grounds, but Farrell said he didn’t want to add too much clutter.

“You don’t want to clutter up nothing by putting too much [because] too much of anything is not good for you,” he said. 

He still thanks God that the park made it to its finish line. But there were other people to thank for that as well, namely Robert White and the Everett Family, Councilman Cornelius Ponder III said.

“Without him and that family donating that parking lot, it would have made us real stagnant in the process of getting that court done,” he said.

Without the donation of the parking lot, the city could not have brought Northwest Park’s basketball court up to code as it is now.

Special thanks via a sign in the area is given to Hattie Miller Everett and Dr. Ellen Everett White because of that.

Ponder said an enhancement of this nature was a relief and a long time coming.

“To see our community enhanced some north of $143,000 right here in District 1 for the benefit of our people, that’s a relief and a blessing,” he said. “It came out greater than I expected.”

Ponder’s first desire was to simply enhance the area, but the idea evolved into bringing in something new. Out of everything old that was removed, only the basketball goal posts remain.

Changes and additions may come in time to the park, but for now Northwest Park is finished.

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