Neighborhood group continues to beautify local park

February 2, 2023

In 2021, a group of neighbors led by Cathy Padgett and Jeannine Howell got together to discuss improvements needed at Mason Park. Traditionally, local parks have been adopted by nearby garden clubs who take on this task. However, Mason Park had not been adopted. Howell theorized that it may have been adopted by garden club in the past that has since disbanded. In response, Padgett and Howell decided to form the Friends of Mason Park organization to establish efforts to support and beautify it.  “We’re technically not a garden club,” Howell said, “We’re just neighbors banded together to accomplish a project and we have accomplished a lot!”

Since 2021, they have been leading the charge to beautify the park through a variety of projects. Their first work day in the park was in fall 2021 and they had about 20 volunteers. Their next work day, in spring 2022, brought in 30 volunteers. They have been working with the city’s parks and recreation department to resolve erosion problems, plant 150 trees, and complete re-sodding projects. “The city has been very, very helpful and good to work with,” Howell said. “It’s been a good experience.”

They hope to build their efforts into regular quarterly work days. Their next work day will be on Sunday, February 19th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Monday, February 20th from 8 a.m. to noon. Since it is President’s Day, they hope that people who are off from work will be able to drop by to lend a hand.

Those interested in participating can text Jeannine Howell at 601.580.8266 or Cathy Padgett at 770.403.3472. Participants will be asked to bring their own gloves and bottled water and can bring tools such as shovels, hand shovels, clippers, pruners, garden rakes, steel rakes, hoes, weed eaters, and blowers, if available. During the winter work day, the group will working on small projects between 18th Street and 20th Street on 7th Avenue on the west side of the park.

The City of Laurel, established as a lumber town in 1882, is conveniently situated approximately two hours from larger destination cities such as Jackson, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Mobile. In recent years, the city has become a destination all its own thanks, in part, to its starring role in HGTV’s popular “Hometown” series. As Laurel, and interest in it, continues to grow, we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help all of our residents and businesses reach their full potential.
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