MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 25, 2011

Spaulding Park gets facelift

Spaulding Park could have a new gazebo, curvy sidewalks and a more pleasant aroma within the next few weeks.

The pond on the park’s southeast corner is being dredged to remove weeds, algae and silt that has accumulated over time, Muskogee Park Superintendent Rick Ewing said. The park is at the south end of East Side Boulevard at Okmulgee Avenue.

Some park-goers have noticed the pond’s low level and wondered what’s happening.

“It’s full of leaves and trash and just smells horrible and fishy,” said Joy Mills. “I’d say the last two weeks it’s been this way.”

Ewing said the aroma is one reason the pond is being dredged.

“We can’t keep all the weeds out of it, but we’re going to try to get most of the weeds up,” Ewing said.

He said the city is pumping water out “as pumps are available.”

“We’re going to drain it, get equipment to haul out the silt and get to the clay bottom to get to the seeds, plants and dead vegetation.”

The city dredged the pond at Honor Heights Park three years ago in conjunction with getting new spillway, Ewing said. The project took about three months.

“This one’s not nearly as big a project,” he said about the Spaulding pond.

When told of the dredging, Mills said she is glad the city is taking care of the pond’s smell.

Meanwhile, workers with Terrell Construction Co., of Fort Gibson are setting concrete for sidewalks and a gazebo in the western section of Spaulding Park, at Dorchester Avenue at G Street.

Muskogee Parks and Recreation Director Mark Wilkerson said the sidewalk and gazebo projects cost $114,000 with half the funding for the project is coming from the Oklahoma Land & Water Resource Fund and the rest coming from interest on the Yaffe Trust.

Ewing said the Yaffe Trust and state grants also help fund the pond dredging.

Ewing said contractors with Jonesplan Inc., began working on the three-month sidewalk and gazebo project early in February. Two weeks of record snow and subfreezing temperatures delayed the project. He said work could be done by late April or early May.

Other improvements at the park include a neighborhood garden, renovation of an old building into the Spaulding Scout House, which can be used for meetings, parties or other gatherings.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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