Arbor Day event combines Douglass Park renovation, safety

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It takes a lot of hands to renovate a park that’s been around for 100 years. 100 hands, to be specific.

Members of Commerce Lexington’s Leadership Lexington Class of 2015-16 formed 100 Hands for Douglass Park, a community service group dedicated to reviving the historic landmark, and collaborating with Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Parks and Recreation, Division of Police, the Arbor Homeowners Association, the Georgetown Street Area Neighborhood Association and others to improve the equipment and amenities at the park and its community center.

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Today, these organizations joined forces with community partners including Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Kentucky American Water, Kentucky 811, and got their hands dirty to beautify the park, renovate the O’Rear Community Center and dedicate a new park sign.

Today’s sign dedication by Lexington-Fayette Urban County 1st District Councilman James Brown also served as an opportunity to remind all Fayette County residents who might commemorate Arbor Day by planting a tree or who may be planning a beautification project of their own to always Call 811 Before You Dig. By contacting 811 by phone or online at least two business days before digging, Kentucky 811 will mark underground utility lines of member companies at no cost to excavators or homeowners. Columbia Gas of Kentucky and Kentucky American Water donated the park’s new sign and oversaw its installation after ensuring that utility lines in the park had been marked.

Immediately following today’s ceremony, volunteers began a three-day, $5000 renovation project at the center that will include new paint, custom cabinets, appliances, new landscaping and artwork by neighborhood children. Materials for the renovation were donated by Lowe’s and Home Depot.

“It is fitting that this event is being held on Arbor Day weekend, a time when volunteers across the nation come together to make our world greener and healthier,” said Councilman Brown. “Additionally, as we in embark on a year long Centennial Celebration of Douglass Park, we applaud the members of 100 Hands and the generous sponsors for adopting this wonderful community park. Their hard work will make it a place the neighborhood can continue be proud of for generations to come.”

100 Hands will culminate their yearlong project on Friday, May 20, with a field day for students at Booker T. Washington Primary and Intermediate schools. The event will include many community groups and sponsors and will feature 28 games, an art station, lunch prepared by Lexington Police Department recruits and prizes for students.