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Randolph Park considered ‘Pride of Pulaski County’

Pool field trip-webBy LAURA ENDERSON

laura@southwesttimes.com

 

Randolph Park is a good place to take a break from hectic daily life, and get out to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. The park is located in Pulaski County on 87 acres of land donated by a lifelong resident of the community, Evelyn Alexander.

“The park has been a tremendous asset to our community,” said Anthony Akers, Parks and Recreation Director for Pulaski County. “The vast majority of people in our community are very appreciative and support the park. I’ve encountered very few naysayers against the park over the past thirteen years.”

The park is open May to October from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and November through April, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We encourage people to come to the park to have fun, but to exercise as well,” Akers said. “Walking, running, enjoying the trails, tennis, swimming, biking are several means of citizens coming to the park to get exercise. Walking and jogging is our most popular health-related activity at the park. Basically, people need to just come to the park and actively enjoy what it has to offer.”

The County of Pulaski began planning the park in 1997, and began construction of the $6 million, state-of-the-art outdoor recreational facility in 1999. Funding for the park came from Pulaski County, fundraisers and donations.The park opened in June of 2000 and the construction of the ball park was completed in 2001.

The wooded areas of the park feature Hawks Nest Pond, with a small gazebo and walking trails. The park also has a gazebo and shelters for picnics, reunions and other occasions. These facilities are available for rental by the hour, and are closed to the public while rented. Call 674-4161 to make reservations.

One of Randolph Park’s special features is the water park. Opening on May 25, the Evelyn Alexander Water Park has everything from a heated pool to a 38 foot long water slide. Concessions and picnic shelters are also available. The water park has a water purifying system, so it prevents red eyes, green hair, itchy skin and faded swim suits.

“The pool is the unique feature in the park that draws in people from about an hour and half away daily,” Akers said. “When people come to the pool from outside of the community, they compliment on all the other features the park has to offer as well as the beauty of the park. The pool averages 50,000 patrons each summer.”

There is also a summer camp available for ages 5 through 12 that starts June 10 and continues until Aug. 9.

“We host a paid summer day camp for nine weeks at the park,”Akers said. “This is a very affordable service for parents needing day care and/or desiring their child to remain active. We typically have close to 150 kids enrolled each summer.”

Randolph Park’s playground features a ‘tot lot’ and swings for kids under 5 years old and a ‘maze’ playground and swings for those 6 and up.