New playground opens in Cordova
by Jennifer Cohron
Sep 10, 2012 | 3005 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
More than $25,000 worth of playground equipment was installed behind the ballfields in Cordova earlier this month. The playground has been open since Labor Day. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
More than $25,000 worth of playground equipment was installed behind the ballfields in Cordova earlier this month. The playground has been open since Labor Day. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
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Kids in Cordova gained a new place to play last week.

The playground is located at the Old Park, which was destroyed in the April 27, 2011 tornadoes. Two ballfields and a skate park opened in the same area earlier this year.

The playground includes 16 separate play areas, including slides, ladders, a tilt-n-twirl and a drum line. It is designed for preschoolers through preteens.

More than $25,000 in equipment was purchased by the city using insurance money it received from the loss of its previous playground as well as support from Hands On Birmingham, Walker Area Community Foundation, Drummond Tornado Recovery Fund and C-Fast.

Lauren Vance, a VISTA working on long-term recovery efforts in Cordova, said the city was fortunate to receive a 50 percent discount on the equipment from Hammill Recreation, LLC of Concord.

“They were clearing out their warehouse and decided to do a promotion where they gave cities the equipment at cost if they were in a tornado-affected area,” Vance said.

Future plans for the playground include the addition of benches and sidewalks leading from the ballfields.

The playground is part of the long-term community recovery plan adopted by city leaders in December.

Restoring the baseball fields is listed as a high-priority project “as a key part of daily social life.”

Conceptual drawings for another downtown park with a lake, walking trails and amphitheater are also included in the plan.

The proposed “park in the heart” would be located on the former Piggly Wiggly property, which is within the 100-year floodplain.

Vance said the goal is to give residents a reason to come downtown through smaller projects such as the playground while long-term recovery leaders work toward larger goals of securing funding for the demolition of buildings on Main Street and recruiting a new grocery store.

“Kids need somewhere to play. People need some place to be,” Vance said.