By Stephen Brimberry
I am a native Albanian and chairman of the "Friends of Tift Park."
As we approach the fifth month since the storms of January 2017, Albany has proven to the community that we are Albany Strong and we are stronger together, forever.
As I wait patiently for our return to the park, I've had the chance to reflect on the success of Friends of Tift Park and how our involvement has protect the park, and how it's made a difference in our community.
Tift Park is home to the Albany Recreation Department and the Tift Park Community market. Its neighbors are Phoebe Putney Hospital and the Albany Boys and Girls Club. Her boundaries border Albany's first subdivision and the Rawson Circle district.
The storm destroyed 100 year old Oak trees, playground equipment,shelters, benches, and even the tennis courts.
I'm here today to ask to the community and the surrounding counties to continue to support the efforts of a recovery, and donate to grow Albany and support our local community market, that provides free family fun and entertainment every Saturday from 9 to 2.
We started Friends of Tift Park with the desire to preserve, protect and promote Albany historical Tift Park. We reached out to our community leaders, community organizations and businesses to improve and enhance the beauty of Albany's oldest park.
We took a dormant park and brought it back to life with making it home to the Tift Park Community Market that's now in its fourth season. The market has given the community something to be proud of, and supplies us with healthy local produce and free entertainment all done on volunteer labor.
Tift Park is now home to Kids Day, Doggie Day, Christmas in July, the Willie Moody Day, the community reunion day and the the Jingle Bell Jog. These events bring hundreds of people every Saturday to Tift Park.
It's made economic impact for surrounding businesses. So like our 100 year old oak trees our roots run deep here in Albany.
We have definitely lived up to the title of promoting the park, but now that the storms have come and gone, it's time to preserve and Grow Albany once again, and Tift Park will be top priority for the city of Albany and Friends of Tift Park.
We ask the community to continue to supporting our community market till we bring back Tift Park.
We would like for the city leaders, city organizations, and business to continue their help in making the improvement needed to get Tift Park open, and to take in consideration the success of Friends of Tift Park in their redevelopment efforts.
As for what you can do today and tomorrow, cast your vote for Albany Ga. to have a chance to win the Meet Me in the Park $20,000 makeover, given to a lucky city park by the National recreation and Parks Association.
See you at the market.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.