The Legacy Continues: Legacy Park creates environment of community fun, fitness in North Huntsville
Published on June 28, 2023
The City of Huntsville opened Legacy Park today with a ribbon-cutting and community celebration. The $4.6 million park, located near 6000 Cecil Fain Drive, completes the reimagining of the former J.O. Johnson High School which closed in 2016.
“From the start, our goal has been to honor the legacy of the J.O. Johnson Jaguars, while creating a neighborhood where people want to live, play, and raise their families,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “Legacy Park, in conjunction with Johnson Legacy Center (JLC), achieves that. It is a crowning jewel for Northwest Huntsville.”
The park is adjacent to JLC, a membership-based City recreation center, that opened in 2020. Since then, private developers have built Jaguar Hills. The subdivision of single-family homes offers amenities and price points to match any residential development in the City.
District 1 Council Member Devyn Keith has been a staunch supporter of both JLC and Legacy Park. “Success breeds success,” he said. “Being able to walk to a state-of-the-art fitness center and now this beautiful park, only enhances the desirability of the area. We are proud to see so many people choosing to call Northwest Huntsville home.”
A Park with Purpose
Designed by Bostick Landscape Architects, Legacy Park is more than an urban green space. There are two pavilions, including an entertainment pavilion with terraced seating. A large, modern playground offers children hours of active fun. Other amenities include a plaza, walking trails, and 132-space parking lot.
“Legacy Park was designed with the community in mind. We can see multiple generations using this space for years to come,” said Parks and Recreation Director James Gossett. “Whether it’s an afternoon at the playground, an after-dinner walk, or a get-together with family and friends, Legacy Park is a place where memories will be made.”
From Fun to Fitness
Legacy Park is also home to the City’s second National Fitness Campaign (NFC) Fitness Court® public art installation. The first opened at John Hunt Park last year. The Legacy Park fitness court was developed in partnership with the City of Huntsville, Arts Huntsville, NFC, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.
“We continue to focus on providing Alabamians access to the resources they need so they can live the healthiest lives possible,” said Sophie Martin, director of corporate communications and community relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. “It is our hope that this dynamic platform will provide City of Huntsville residents and the community an innovative avenue to get healthier.”
The court features artwork by Jamal FRESKO Turner, a Huntsville illustrator with more than a decade of graphic art experience. Turner’s piece embodies many abstract hands to symbolize the spirit of community, and he uses specific colors to represent themes. Red is for energy, blue for Johnson High and yellow for the promise of the future.
The vibrant energy of Turner’s work is a fitting backdrop to the circuit training system, which provides a full body workout in less than seven minutes.
“We are proud to continue our mission of getting people moving outdoors, supporting public art and helping communities combat the fiscal and humanitarian costs of inactivity,” said Mitch Menaged, founder of NFC.
Celebrating the Future
With so much to celebrate, hundreds of residents and Johnson alumni turned out to participate in the grand opening festivities. They wore Legacy Park T-shirts, enjoyed free ice cream, music, a performance by the Johnson High Alumni Jazz Band, fitness court demonstrations and trying out the playground equipment.