Press Release

Citywide Maintenance & Parks Dept. Join Forces to Enhance Quality of Life for Marion’s Park Patrons Share

Apr 6, 2018  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Marion’s pub­lic park sys­tem is mak­ing great strides fol­low­ing the recent fusion with­in two city depart­ments. Mat­ter Park’s Friend­ship Cor­ner for spe­cial needs chil­dren recent­ly wel­comed the addi­tion of a wheel­chair-acces­si­ble swing, and a sand­box. The near­by pond now has a large wheel­chair-acces­si­ble deck for catch-and-release fish­ing and sight­see­ing. Also in Mat­ter Park, Shel­ter 2 near the ten­nis courts had a new met­al roof con­struct­ed. Shel­ter 3 near the spe­cial needs play­ground has an upgrad­ed kitchen with a new stove and range, which will enhance facil­i­ty rentals.

In oth­er parks around Mar­i­on, both Charles Mill and 28th Street Parks have received new bas­ket­ball goals with cus­tomized designs, and play­ground improve­ments. Strip­ing and bath­room main­te­nance has been com­plet­ed for soc­cer at Bal­lard Field. Play­ground fea­tures at Franklin Park are being replaced. The Mis­sissinewa River­walk has got­ten much need­ed atten­tion with replace­ment of boards through­out prob­lem areas, mak­ing way to receive a full facelift planned for lat­er this year. Main­te­nance staff con­tin­ues to address gen­er­al main­te­nance needs at the Splash House gear­ing up for this season’s open­ing. The Splash House entrance signs have been replaced with bright, wel­com­ing signs to greet patrons.

Many more improve­ment projects are planned, and work­ers are tran­si­tion­ing well after merg­ing in late Decem­ber. City­wide Main­te­nance and Parks Depart­ment main­te­nance employ­ees are both under the direc­tion of Super­in­ten­dent James Loftis. Loftis said the staff has a great atti­tude, a lot of exper­tise, and share in May­or Jess Alumbaugh’s vision for the city. Loftis sit­ed the recent col­lab­o­ra­tive effort of his staff and the neigh­bors of Barnes Park which result­ed in sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments to the play­ground and over­all pub­lic space. 

May­or Alum­baugh stat­ed, The Barnes Park project is a per­fect exam­ple of what can be accom­plished when cit­i­zens step up and get active­ly involved in their neigh­bor­hoods. The con­sol­i­da­tion of these two depart­ments’ work­forces has far exceed­ed my expec­ta­tions. It not only demon­strates that you can accom­plish so much more when you uti­lize your resources in an effi­cient man­ner, but also attests to the ded­i­ca­tion of the men and women who serve the cit­i­zens of Marion.

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