ABERDEEN – A project that had sat null for months has been humming with activity during the past couple of weeks as the City of Aberdeen has lent a hand to a volunteer charge to clean up Acker Park.
"I had brought my granddaughter here a few weeks ago and saw the need for it to be cleaned up and the city has really come in to help with the process," said Bobby Watkins, who caught the city's attention by bringing his own equipment to reignite interest.
Since then, several trees have been cut down around the perimeter of the park to open it up and also along the grounds to give it a cleaner look.
"Right now we're just cleaning and grooming the park. If people are willing to volunteer their time and equipment, so does the city," said Aberdeen Building Official David Low.
The older playground equipment at the park will be taken down and fixed and placed back in the park among a list of future projects
The city has also met with engineers regarding the possibility of a walking track around the northern edge of the park.
According to Mayor Cecil Belle, the city has been in touch with engineering firms to draft a plan for potential additions like a splash pad and a site for festivals at the park.
Revitalization in the project has also brought a renewed interest to the 'I Remember Aberdeen' Facebook page as older photos of the park's prime and photos of the recent progress have been posted.
"I've had people message me to say they live far away, but they'd be happy to send a donation instead of driving in to help," Watkins said.
So many Aberdeen residents' most vivid memories of the park include the swimming pool.
"The first time I remember coming here was in the 50s when my Cub Scout den came here. I remember the first day I got out of the baby pool to the kid size pool," said Donnie Thompson.
Acker Park's pool once played host to Aberdeen's swim team, which competed across the southeast.
"My wife swam in this pool a long time ago and I said let's do them a favor," said Joe Camp of Greenwood Springs about his drive to volunteer at the park.
Anyone wishing to volunteer on the project can call 418-7418.