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Gibson Park is Chesy hot spot

CHESAPEAKE - Gibson Park has become the place to be.

The Chesapeake park continues to grow, as does it's popularity with the residents who enjoy it - especially the children who come there for the sole purpose of having fun.

"I play basketball, play on the monkey bars and I like to go on the roller thing," 7-year-old Nate Henson said while playing basketball with his big brother, Austin.

Austin Henson, 11, was clear as to why he enjoyed coming to the park.

"Basketball," he said matter-of-factly.

The brothers have been coming to the park since it opened five years ago. As the weather cooled down a bit on Tuesday morning, they went head-to-head in a game of hoops.

It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point.

Earlier this week, street supervisors from the village erected a new sign, which was dedicated in December. It lists the names of those who have volunteered and donated items

for the park.

"It's just great for the public, a big benefit for kids and adults," Street Supervisor Paul Wilks said.

Wilks said that the park is used for reunions, bands, birthday parties for children and picnics - which people can schedule at no extra charge.

"I've seen it down here you couldn't find a parking place," he said.

The land for the park was donated by Ezar Gibson.

"We were very fortunate Ezar Gibson donated all of this land," Mayor Jimmy Justice said.

Recently, $11,000 for handicapped equipment was donated by Higher Ground, who also donated additional equipment for the park. The Girl Scouts in the area planted the flowers surrounding the flagpole, along with several other volunteers who maintain the park area.

"We've spent a lot of hours of volunteer work," Justice said

The mayor said that Judge Donald Capper and Carolyn Miller of the Lawrence County Municipal Court's Community Service Program have also been a great help with the park.

Soon, the park will be equipped with electric. Volunteer Bobby Parsons of Bobby Parsons Electric will be installing electric service at the park

"We're just trying to get more funds for the park. The more funds we get, the more equipment we can buy," volunteer Gary Rucker said.

One problem they are having at the park is that of vandalism - individuals tearing up the playground equipment. Wilks said that they have increased patrols around the area and are hoping to catch vandals in the act.

"People don't realize what this equipment costs," Justice said. The mayor urged anyone who sees someone being destructive with the park and/or equipment, please call the dispatcher's office.