Ardmore parks department applies for improvement grant for Whittington Park

The Ardmore parks and recreation department hopes to make some major improvements to...
The Ardmore parks and recreation department hopes to make some major improvements to Whittington Park after applying for a grant with the state.(Kemper Ball)
Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - The Ardmore parks department is pushing ahead with plans to continue improvements in one of its parks despite recent vandalism.

Ardmore’s Whittington Park is one of the oldest in the city and it has come a long way since it first opened.

But, both city officials and community members want to see it grow even more.

“Whittington Park is one of our oldest parks and as it ages it needs a little face lift,” said the city’s parks and recreation director Teresa Ervin. “We had some citizens approach us and ask if we can look at it, kind of look at it and decide what we wanted to do.”

Those conversations led to the additions of a splash pad, new pavilions, a walking trail, and pickleball courts.

But despite the progress setbacks have occurred, including a recent act of vandalism that left a bathroom destroyed, totaling around $1,500 in damages.

“For something like that to happen anywhere is always disappointing but we’re putting so much effort right now that it was just terribly disappointing,” said Ervin.

But that hasn’t deterred the improvement effort.

The parks department recently applied for a community development block grant with the state that could bring almost $200,000 to the park.

“We’ve had the opportunity to apply and it’s a huge grant for us if we’re able to get it and such a huge boost in the arm,” Ervin said. “The city will match those funds and we have been working with a designer to design the park.”

Just like prior improvements, most of the upcoming plans came from citizen input and include upgraded pavilions, new handicap parking, and a brand new play structure.

The parks department has done studies and surveys to apply and now all that’s left to do is wait for an answer.

“I know we hope to hear very soon so we can start our plans and moving forward,” said Ervin. “I can tell you that something will be done in the park. It just depends on how much funding we have.”

If you have any information regarding the recent vandalism at Whittington park contact the Ardmore police department right away.

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