Restoring Community Park (and Pride) After Devastating Tornado in Guntersville, AL
On April 27, 2011, people in the northeast corner of Alabama awoke to blaring sirens. While the local and national weather forecasters knew it was coming, residents of small-town Guntersville, with a population of less than 9,000 people, couldn’t have predicted the brutal fury of the massive tornados that ripped through so many local communities.
At the heart of Guntersville was a park – a park that was now destroyed. The whole community was affected by what is now referred to as the 2011 Super Outbreak. The devastation of the park left a constant physical and emotional reminder of the tornados. Restoring the park was critical to revitalizing the town.
During Keep America Beautiful’s National Planting Day in September of 2012, Keep Guntersville Beautiful and local volunteers used grant funding to help restore this important community gathering place. Volunteers worked to plant close to 300 new shrubs and flowers to help restore the park to become the beautiful place that this once was. New park benches, trash cans and recycling containers were also installed.
This project helped connect Guntersville residents, while helping to increase business traffic in the surrounding neighborhood. The restoration of the now vibrant community park, gave residents new found hope.