East Texas park gets a revamping

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted By Molly Reuter - bio | email

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - Three generations of school children have enjoyed recess at Reagan Park in Palestine, but with playground equipment falling apart the future of the 95 year-old park was uncertain.

There was no shortage of helping hands at Reagan Park in Palestine, Saturday. More than 140 volunteers came to shovel, drill and do their part in the revamping of Reagan Park.  The Palestine Junior Service League raised more than a quarter of a million dollars in goods and services to give future kids a chance to play.

Event organizer Heather Calhoun says it's about time.

"We've seen it on paper a jillion times, but to see it come to life is really amazing," said Calhoun.  Covering 14,000 square feet the playground features swings for handicapped children and play structures for different age groups.

High school sophomore Marie Flynn may be a little too old for the slides and swings, but sees the big picture of giving a helping hand.

"When I grow up my kids will be able to play on this park, so it'll be cool," said Flynn.  Lending a hand with the heavier building, Keith Jenkins remembers the park as a student at the neighboring Reagan School.

"I went to Reagan third, fourth and fifth grade, and none of this was here," said Jenkins.  "We had a basketball court, a swingset and a slide."  Being apart of the construction and change was a rewarding moment for Jenkins.

"You come and enjoy what's done, and it's your turn to provide for the next generation and hopefully they'll carry it on afterwards," said Jenkins.   Junior League members say the additional playgrounds are just phase one.  The second phase will feature a perimeter trail around the park for biking and walking.