JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Many communities impacted by Hurricane Michael are still cleaning up the mess left behind more than 2 and a half years later.
After Hurricane Michael, people said the Sneads Recreation Park that once hosted tournaments quickly became overgrown and neglected.
Now residents are taking action and pouring back into the park.
“We are trying to rebuild it. This place used to be an awesome place for state tournaments and what not we want to bring all that back we want to bring revenue back to the city back to the town. We want people to want to come and play ball here, said Recreation Board President, Wendi Lewis.
Today they held their first “Workday” which included cleaning up the park, pressure washing the playground, cleaning out the concession stand, and trimming up the trees.
“We want to be able to pour back into our kids and it starts with facility projects and bringing stuff up to speed to where they can take pride in their community,” said Steven Stubel, a board member.
Lewis said the park hasn’t had lights since the hurricane and they’ve often had to call games before time was out.
She said the park has become a safety hazard.
“None of this stuff is safe for the kids to play on. We have glass, we have holes, we have debris, and we’ve got metal sticking up everywhere,” Lewis said. “We’ve gotta get it where our kids can be safe this can be a safe haven for people to come and just enjoy playing the sports and getting back out there.”
Stubel said they’ve received a lot of community support, but one issue they are facing is funding, which he said is crucial in meeting their goals.
“We are super proud of the support we’ve seen so far today,” Stubel said. “There’s going to be a lot of projects in the future that we continue to endeavor upon to be able to continue the vision, because the truth of the matter is, we know there are short term goals we can reach right now, but we also know there long term goals that we want to reach that’ll set up generations to come to be able to walk into this town and hold their head high and be able to say this is my hometown.”
The board plans to host more cleanups at the park and they have many more projects planned to continue bringing the park back to life.
Sneads Town Manager, Elmon “Lee” Garner said they will need community support.
“I’m asking the community to come out and support the new Recreation Board and the town and to help keep the field up and to bring it back to its glory that it was a few years ago.”
Lewis said the best way for the community to help is to donate. To learn how to donate visit their Facebook page here.