Residents react to Smith Park renovations - - Jackson, MS

Residents react to Smith Park renovations

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: Smith Park Source: Smith Park
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Trees were cut down in the heart of downtown Jackson as renovations are taking shape at the historic Smith Park.

"I was surprised when I drove up Monday to see what was going on, but it's long overdue," said Shelton Gates.

Smith Park is beginning to transform into a new green space. Trees were cut, limbs are on the ground and progress is moving forward.

Gates said he's been visiting the historic park for more than 50 years and said the changes can't come soon enough.

"When folks come to Jackson this is what they are going to see. What they have been seeing is not very pleasing," added Gates. "What they will be seeing in the future is something we can be proud of. When they go back to where they came from they will have something positive to say about Jackson, MS in particular."

The first phase of the Smith Park renovation is being lead by a partnership between the city of Jackson, Downtown Jackson Partners and Friends of Smith Park.

Those groups tell us Smith Park is one of the oldest continuously used city parks in the United States and it's time to make it a gem in the heart of downtown. Dead and dying trees are being cut down as part of the preservation.

"When you walk past them, you can see a lot of them are hollowed out. They were going to fall on someone at some point anyway so it was just smart to get them out of the way and I understand they are going to be replanting," said Gates.

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