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At Dupree Park, Jacksonville will establish a playground for all ages



Jacksonville, Arkansas – Dupree Park in Jacksonville could only be heard during construction just five months ago. Now that the sun is out, it’s nice to hear laughing coming from the playground once more.

“We’ve been through a lot. and you know, that’s kind of an understatement but our city employees, city staff, and all of our departments have worked so hard,” Jacksonville Mayor Jeff Elmore said.

On March 31, Dupree Park was in the path of the tornado’s devastation. It destroyed practically everything in its path, leaving only a trail of wreckage, damaged property, and downed trees.

“The damage to Dupree Park totaled right at $3.6 million and we are putting that much into it and we are bringing it back like it was but better,” Mayor Elmore described.

He described how the playground they were developing will have brand-new swings, slides, and monkey bars for youngsters to play on and will be handicap accessible.

“That is the inclusive part here, any child who is suffering from any type of handicap is more than welcome. This has been designed with them in mind for wheelchair access and anything else. [It has] different safety measures, so it’s a great thing.” Mayor Elmore said.

Despite significant advancements, Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Director Kevin House maintains that more work has to be done.

“We still got some fencing to come in, shade structures coming over the top of the playground that’s behind us restrooms to finish, but we are getting close,” House said.

House said that everything is coming together because of the assistance of the building crews and everyone else who has been assiduously working day and night to create a park that would bind the neighborhood together.

“Hours and hours of work. we’ve had countless loads hauled off and I mean we’re still working. As you can tell grass is not planted, you know, grasses add up yet I mean, there’s still a long way to go but we’re getting there and it’s been there several contractors, but also all of the Parks and Rec and other city staff have really put in a lot of hours to get us to where we’re at and trying to get us to the finish line,” House described.

He stated that the objective is to have everything operational at Dupree Park by the end of December. Once everything is complete, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held to officially welcome everyone.



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