By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The City of Hokes Bluff received funding recently that allowed the Parks and Recreation Department to do needed work to a field so that it can be used for youth sports.
Funding for the project was administered through the non-profit Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council,. The local office of the Natural Resource Conservation Service worked on development of the project.
Meeting with Hokes Bluff and Etowah County leaders for an announcement recently, Sen. Phil Williams said it was fun to see a project like this one come about.
“When you can put funding into a project and there is a quick, visible and long-lasting impact, that’s the fun part of serving,” Williams said.
Hokes Bluff Parks and Recreation Director John Moore said the field receiving the work will be an all-purpose sports field – one that can be used for soccer, football or other sports.
Moore said the work needed came in two phases. The first phase was to correct a 20-foot drop off at one end of the field to make it safe for sports.
The second phase came in correcting a long ditch running through a field, so that it could not be used for games of any kind.
“Through your generosity,” Moore said, “We were able to make that field usable.”
Hokes Bluff City Council member Jeff Cheatwood said he knows the challenges Moore has faced trying to coordinate recreational activities and schedule games for as many as 500 kids in the park with a limited number of usable, available fields.
“It’s been a headache for him,’ Cheatwood said, “but a good headache,” referring to the number of young people involved.
He said the additional fields will help to ease the headache of scheduling.
Williams and the city and county officials offered thier appreciation to the different organizations and agencies involved in making the project a reality.
NRCS District Conservationist Ken Howell said it’s the agencies job to work with local people to come up with plans that will solve the problems they have, and to work with organizations like the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council in grass roots efforts to help the people of a community to have a better way of life.
Eddie May, Executive Director of the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council said the non-profit works with 11 counties in east Alabama on projects like the one in Hokes Bluff.
He thanked the members of the council’s board from Etowah County for the work they’ve done to assist the organization.
Members from Etowah County are Sharon Gross and Jennifer Childers, and Etowah County Commission member Perry Gwinn, who did not seek re-election this year.