If you lived in the Birmingham area during 2011 like me, then you probably remember the tornadoes that destroyed much of Alabama that spring. To this day, many affected areas are still getting back on their feet, one of these being Pratt City.
Now, after eight years of construction, a new park in Pratt City just recently opened, titled One Pratt Park. Want to learn more about this new outdoor space? Here are three reasons to get excited about Pratt City’s new park.
1. One Pratt Park is repairing what was lost
On April 27th, 2011, tornadoes of epic proportions ripped through the state of Alabama. Overall, there were 29 confirmed tornadoes in the central Alabama area and 62 confirmed in the state.
As a result of this day, many people lost their homes, including my own Grandmother.
“It was so knocked down you would get lost, like ‘hey, wait a minute I remember something being here, have I gone too far?'” said Alonzo Darrow, Vice President of the Pratt Community.
Birmingham’s Mayor Woodfin was also personally affected by the storms, receiving a phone call from his father on that day saying that his family was okay, but the top of their house had been ripped away.
However, since the installation of the park, community members are starting to feel more hopeful.
“In the midst of the storm, I see a beautiful library that is behind me. The fire station. I see a host of new homes in the future for the area,” said John Hilliard, Birmingham City Councilman.
2. The park offers exciting amenities
Taking up six acres and costing over six million dollars to build, One Pratt Park has been created with care and has a lot to offer the community. The park was also constructed by the same builders who created Railroad Park.
Similarly to Railroad Park, One Pratt Park has a large, open grassy area, perfect for sports or a picnic. There’s also a walking track that snakes its way through the grounds.
Pratt Park also has an entire section dedicated to the kids, with multiple slides, climbing contraptions and even a musical instrument area.
For hot days, there’s a misting pad to keep visitors cool. Park-goers can also take shelter from the elements inside the 4,500 square-foot meeting and activity building.
The park is also conveniently located right next to the Pratt City Library, which was also constructed after the 2011 tornadoes. Visitors who just want to relax or curl up with a good book can lounge in the reading area next to the library or curl up in one of the park’s hammock stands.
Oh, and probably the coolest feature of all? The park has a 200-seat amphitheater and an outdoor LED screen.
3. Pratt City’s new park will bring the community together
Though Pratt City was hit hard, many believe that this rebuilding is the area’s chance to become a more vital part of the Pratt City community.
Similarly to how Railroad park has become a key outdoor space for the downtown Birmingham community, One Pratt Park hopes to have a positive impact on the community.
Just like the state came together after the 2011 tornadoes, One Pratt Park hopes to serve as a place to bring the community of Pratt City together.
“One Pratt Park now stands as the front yard of this cherished community, the centerpiece of Pratt’s revival,” Woodfin said.