Nichols Park receives makeover

Nearly 100 union workers and local citizens volunteered to revitalize historic Nichols Park free of charge on Saturday during “Union Day.”

(Photo by ASHLEY WOLSTONCROFT)

By ASHLEY WOLSTONCROFT
Free-Lance Editor

Nichols Park received a new look over the weekend.

Nearly 100 Oklahoma union workers, in conjunction with the Union Sportsman Alliance and Henryetta citizens, volunteered to help restore the historic park free of charge.

The team rewired the shelter house, cleared brush and installed new charcoal barbecues. They also reset rock, removed the old fishing dock and anchored a new floating dock near the beach house.

During the event, Henryetta Mayor Jennifer Clason surprised workers with a proclamation declaring Saturday as “Union Day” in Henryetta.

“Today we as Henryettans will enjoy the fruits of our labor with the citizens united with a common purpose to make Henryetta a great place to live and raise a family,” she said. “The citizens of Henryetta are appreciative to the Sportsman Alliance for their considerable amount of volunteer time and resources to help Henryetta protect our outdoor heritage. The alliance has given Henryetta, and everyone who travels to our park, the revived pleasure of going outdoors with family and friends for years to come.”

According to Clason, it would have taken years to accomplish what the volunteers completed in one day. 

“The Sportsman Alliance, with our coalition of partners and the citizens of Henryetta have once again set the standard of Americans united to work together for a common goal,” she said.

She also thanked street superintendent Arley Gray, public works director Ron Casey, the Nichols Park Restoration Committee and Henryetta City Council for their efforts in revitalizing the park. 

Since the summer months began, Nichols Park has received beach volleyball courts and new bathrooms that are awaiting installment.

“It was the older [council] who didn't want the new stuff at the park, or didn't know what that new stuff was and didn't want any part of it,” Clason said. “They said 'Let's just leave it as it is and how it's been for 50 years’...that's not how this council is. We are ready to move on, we're ready to make things better and we're ready to show citizens what we are here to do.”

Alliance members will return in 10-12 days to set a roof in place for the pavilion. 

The materials were ordered, but did not arrive in time for Saturday's event.

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