Archived Story

Parks and Recreation continuing to impress

Published 10:27am Friday, June 27, 2014

You know, to have the word “recreation” in its title, Alexander City Parks and Recreation has been all business, at least since I got here.
Now, despite the ‘overwhelming’ temptation to credit myself for this, I’d be a fool to do so.
No, I think we all know who deserves credit for this. After all, the recent wave of business coincided with Parks and Rec Executive Director Sonny Wilson’s appointment to the position he holds now.
I’ve spoken with him on a handful of occasions, and it’s clear that he’s got a master plan of some sort.
Based on what I know of the Parks and Rec schedule this summer, everything is going according to said plan.
Don’t believe me? Just take a look at what the department has done in just a year.
In 2013, the Parks and Rec department hosted two state-level travelball tournaments.
Apparently, it made more than the most of its opportunities, as this year, Parks and Rec saw a significant increase in its workload.
In fact, starting tonight with opening ceremonies, it will kick off one of its 11 state-level tournaments.
Yeah, you read that right. Parks and Rec will host more than five times as many state tournaments as it did last year.
Not only does that put the department itself on the map, it also shines a spotlight on Alexander City and the Lake Martin area.
And perhaps most importantly of all, with the increase of tournaments hosted by Parks and Rec, that means more people will be in our city limits.
Which means that more people will be taking advantage of what Alexander City can offer, whether that’s hotels, our eateries, or any of the local attractions – such as the lake or our parks – we can offer.
I’m not sure on exactly what kind of economic impact this could have on Alexander City, which in the eyes of some may still be reeling from the loss of Russell Corporation.
But from talking to Wilson, it’s bound to be significant.
And while Alexander City stands to be the primary breadwinner for the recent influx of – for lack of a better term – tourists, surrounding cities will also benefit.
Not bad for our local Parks and Recreation department, wouldn’t you say?
Granted, the Parks and Rec department does much more than tournaments. If I’m not mistaken, it works in conjunction with former star athletes and our community centers to provide other avenues for Alexander City’s local youths to participate in various camps and so forth.
In all, the Parks and Recreation department has done a fantastic job of bringing in events not only for itself, but for this community.
And if you ask Wilson, he’d say that he feels it’s a responsibility of the department to bring in things like this and put “heads in beds.”
Well, at least from where I stand, they’ve met that obligation with flying colors.
Bailey is sports editor for The Outlook.