Work underway on MLK Memorial Park in Valdosta -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Work underway on MLK Memorial Park in Valdosta

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Valdosta leaders hope a park honoring a civil rights legend will help revitalize a struggling part of town.

Work is underway on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. City leaders hope it will help attract businesses and visitors to the southside of Valdosta.

Each one of these tablets contain a message about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. Community members say the new park will benefit the southside.

"I think it's something very beautiful and I think it's going to help the community out alot," said Sylvester Matchett, a southside resident.

Mayor Pro-tem Willie Head agrees. He remembers a time growing up on the southside when businesses here on MLK used to thrive.

"At one time this was some of the economic arteries for the black community," said Mayor Pro-tem Willie Head.

Head hopes the park and its unique monument will create a greater desire for people to visit the area.

The tallest Martin Luther King Monument in Georgia similar to the Washington Monument in our nation's capitol, will be right here in Valdosta. The 40-foot granite memorial will be the highlight of the MLK park.

Excerpts from the Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech will be engraved, but the 110,000 pound obelisk won't be erected until mid-December. 

"This is only one phase of what will become a testament to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, so it's a great feeling of joy," said Head.

The 1.5 acre park is part of the MLK Corridor project.

"It's an eight block corridor that will have new sidewalks new pocket parks new trees, new irrigation, improved roadways improved storm systems and improved utility systems," said Jim Martinez, City of Valdosta Engineering Project Manager.

The park is paid for by SPLOST revenue.

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