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Smiles and Laughter Open Jim Marek Park in Merrimack Mill Village

For Immediate Release
July 11, 2015
City of Huntsville (Huntsville, AL) - The City of Huntsville celebrated the grand opening of the new Jim Marek Park today with a ribbon cutting and neighborhood picnic in the Merrimack Mill Village/Holiday Homes area. The park is named in memory of James J. "Jim" Marek, Jr., who founded the Merrimack Mill Village Organization in 2006. The organization works to preserve and protect the neighborhood, which encompasses about 200 former textile worker's homes.

With its lush lawn, shady pavilion, picnic tables and bench-lined sidewalk, Jim Marek Park is already a beloved member of the community - much like the man for whom it was named. The park's crown jewel is a new playground featuring multiple types of swings, a climbing structure, and play equipment that will provide hours of entertainment and healthy activities for the many young families moving into the area.

The City of Huntsville spent about $100,000 on the park, which was designed with input from representatives of the Merrimack and Holiday Homes communities.

Marek's wife, Charlotte Schilling, says that she knows her husband would be proud of the outcome of the park. "The park was exactly what we had envisioned when Jim was alive," Schilling said. "I know he's smiling down on it."

Until he lost his battle with cancer in May 2013, Marek worked endlessly to improve the community by installing street lamps, spearheading a neighborhood watch program and organizing neighborhood clean-ups.

"Jim Marek was an outstanding civic leader, a member of our Planning Commission, and a tireless advocate for his neighborhood," said Mayor Tommy Battle. "It pleases me to know that generations of children will repeat his name and know how deeply someone cared about their community."

Jim Marek Park is located off of Triana Boulevard, at the corner of Cedar Street and Clopton Street.

For more information, please contact:

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

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