CRAWFORD, Ala. – A community park is receiving statewide and national recognition. Crawford Park at the Historic Tuckabatchee Masonic Lodge and the committee that built it won an achievement award with the National association of Counties.
They also received a statewide grant with the Alabama Historic Commission. The park sits beside the historic lodge, which was built in 1848 serving many purposes over the years from a meeting place to a church and school.
Rosie Gary is a member of the Crawford Park Committee who turned the area around the lodge building into a park. She says she got involved with the project when she first heard about plans for a park.
“And I’m all about children so, I just wanted that. I was involved the moment I heard park for the children and I’ve been here ever since for four years,” Gary said.
Crawford Park is now a state and national award-winning park.
“We were just amazed that you got to go way in California you got to go to accept an award for this little old town of Crawford here. And then, before he could get there, we had gotten a second award, which is just great,” she explained.
Russell County County Commissioner Chance Corbett accepted the national award.
“This community didn’t have a park. It didn’t have anything. We’re a few miles outside of town, outside of Phenix City and in order for kids to go play at a park they had to go into town or go in any direction for 10 or 15 miles to find a park,” Corbett said.
Corbett, along with Gary, helped save the lodge building that was built in 1848.
“We’ve restored a building that was about to fall in and now it is the diamond of the community,” he said.
Gary says the lodge building is bringing the community together.
“We have started having annual events here. The rental of the building with weddings and birthday parties that’s been overwhelming for everyone and the community is really getting involved in everything we do here now,” she said.
The lodge building has been rented almost 100 times in the last year.