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A New Beginning for an Old Favorite
Brahan Spring Park Receives $2 Million Makeover


City of Huntsville FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2012

(Huntsville, AL) -Brahan Spring Park is sporting a new look after receiving nearly $2 million in improvements in the last three years. Today, the 170-acre park is rapidly returning as one of the City's most desirable locations for families to picnic and enjoy outdoor activities.

"Brahan Spring Park is one of the City's greatest assets, and we were frustrated to see it on a steady path of decline," said Mayor Tommy Battle. "It was unacceptable. Our department heads pulled together, from police to public works, parks and recreation, facilities and landscape management, general services, projects and engineering, and they made it their mission to transform this park back into a family playground that our public would be proud of and one where they would feel safe to frequent."

The City began by putting the full force of its departments into a thorough clean up of the property. They aerated the lakes, pruned trees, cleared brush, repaved roads and parking areas, and beefed up police patrols. Next, the City turned toward upgrading facilities and constructing news ones, including the nationally recognized "Everybody Can Play Playground and Everybody Can Play Splash Pad. Partnering with the City were numerous community groups and businesses who contributed more than $1 million toward Brahan Spring's $2 million revitalization.

"We could not have achieved all of this in such a short period without the financial support and assistance from the community," said Recreation Manager Steve Ivey. "The Optimist and Kiwanis clubs, The Miracle League, Traveller Multimedia Network, and hundreds of private donations helped pay for the new facilities and upgrades."

Ivey says the new free Wi-Fi is a big hit in the park, and he is seeing more families reserve the new pavilions for their gatherings and events. A splash pad will open this fall, and one of the Miracle League fields now sports a new, rubberized, solid surface to better accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and other mobility aides. Sand volleyball courts are full every weekend since that the City installed outdoor showers for players to be able to rinse off after games.

"The public is starting to come back out, and we project that we will soon be topping more than 500 patrons a day on weekends just in the playground and picnic areas," said Ivey.

"We tried not to focus on one sport, and I think we have been successful in providing variety," said Parks & Recreation Director Greg Patterson. "There is something new to enjoy, and we have improved our old favorites in disc golf, horseshoe courts, and in our softball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse fields."

Brahan Spring Park is also home to the City's Natatorium, Senior Center, Brahan Spring Recreation Center, and Milton Frank Stadium. Huntsville City Schools are spending $3 million to renovate the stadium in time for the fall season, an improvement that will further enhance the Park's use and appearance.

"When people come out to see high school football at Milton Frank this fall, they will see a new look in the stadium and a new look in park," said Patterson.

Recent facility additions and improvements to Brahan Spring Park include:

North/South Soccer Field Renovations
Upgrade & light two soccer fields.
Completion Spring 2013

Replace two Pavilions
Demo two existing pavilions and replace with new 20' x 80' pavilions.
Completion September 2012

Everybody Can Play Playground
Playground designed with special needs accessibility emphasized with Pavilion, parking lot renovation for bus parking (Optimist/Kiwanis joint effort)

Everybody Can Play Splash Pad
Space theme water park designed with special needs accessibility. Joint effort with Optimist/Kiwanis.
Completion Fall, 2012

Miracle League Field
New solid surface field for Miracle League, renovation of existing restroom/concession area with emphasis on special needs accessibility
Opening August 25

Miracle League Playground
Solid surface playground designed for special needs population
Opening August 25

Wi-Fi Accessibility
Brahan Spring Park is now 75% Wi-Fi accessible. Partnership with Traveller Multimedia Network.

Electronic Sign Upgrade
Installed new electronic board and painted/updated the sign.

For more information, contact:

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, City of Huntsville, 256-427-5006 (w), kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov



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