As they tried to beat the rain, American Legion Post 55 with the help the Albion Scout Troops 158B and 158G and Home Depot, successfully restored Barnes Park on Thursday August 17th and Tuesday August 22nd. A project two years in the making has come to fruition with replacing park benches, cleaning the riverbank, and trimming overgrown trees.
This passion project started with Chuck Savage, American Legion member, visiting the park one afternoon wanting to enjoy a picnic with his family. To his surprise, he found the over 20-year-old park in poor condition, the benches were rotting, and river could not be seen through the trees. He was determined to do something about. Savage brought this issue to the American Legion members, stating that something needed to be done about their front yard, as the American Legion building is settled just behind the park and river. The attention of one member was all it took for the project to be planned. The Legion began by reaching out to Home Depot for cost assessments for materials. Before they knew it, Home Depot had applied for a grant making the materials free to the Legion. Home Depot also supplied the volunteers with the necessary tools and equipment to repair the benches as well as four employees from the Jackson store to volunteer for a day.
The local Scouts got involved in the project to help their charter organization. The Legion has been supportive of the Scouts as well as the current commander is a father to four of the current Scouts. The Scouts were able to do this project as a conservation project needed for the work they do in Scouting. The help of the youth assisted with the speed of the project as the park is no small feat.
Now, people can visit Barnes Park with the expectations of a safe place to sit and enjoy a picnic, or even be able to watch the sunset.