Mississippi Strong: Willie Bibb - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi Strong: Willie Bibb

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A man in Pearl has helped make a city park what it is today because he does a lot of things he doesn’t have to do.

Willie Bibb took on a part time summer job several years ago overseeing Jenkins Park in Pearl. But he has adopted the park as his own almost, and that attitude has made a difference for people using it.

Maybe you know what I mean when I say we’ve all seen places that maybe have been neglected or allowed to become run down and we’ve thought how great that place COULD be. Well, here is one of those places that has become great.

It is Jenkins Park on Old Whitfield Road in Pearl. It is a showplace today. But Darlene Buckley says it wasn’t this way five or six years ago.

"It was in bad shape, said Buckley. "The bathrooms didn’t work. The water didn’t run. It was in bad shape."

About the same time that Darlene became concerned for the future of the park so did Willie Bibb. He has a special fondness for it that goes way back even before the park was even here.

I grew up in this area. I played baseball here. It was an old Negro league," said Bibb. "I was a little boy. And I come up and I played ball here and then they made a park out of it."

When the park first opened there was a lot of vandalism here. Clearly there needed to be someone to oversee the park. And since Willie was here, the city of Pearl hired him to do the job.

Somebody had to do it," said Bibb. "It was kind of hard to find somebody so I stepped in.

His duties were to be here and oversee the place in the summer months when the kids were here. But Mr. Bibb adopted many other duties along the way; litter patrol, gardener, he edges the walking trail after the city crews come and cut the grass. He has even taken on the duties of community counselor to get the vandalism under control.

"But we took care of all of that," said Bibb. "Talked to the parents and everything worked out."

"You’ll see him pulling 50 to 100 foot water hoses to water when it’s not raining," added Darlene Buckley. "We’ve cleaned ditches. But he has such a great heart."

And a willing spirit. It’s only a summer job, but Willie Bibb is here in Jenkins Park year round tending to things, fixing things, watching over things, and making sure it’s the kind of park it should be.

The kind of place the whole community has adopted now and helps keep up following his Mississippi-Strong lead.

On August 5, there will be a big community wide picnic at Jenkins Park. Water slides and all. 

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