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MASON CITY, IA – Chris Watts is well-known around his neighborhood for trying to improve the landscape of the area.
“The other side of the block and this side of the block needed attention too. Kind of got started with the lilacs on 19th Street and decided it was time to move south to the park,” said Watts.
And so fixing up Georgia Hanford Park began.
He’s got a lot on the list: re-fencing the softball diamond, new basketball hoops, and a new shelter.
“Phase three as we call it. Phase one, two years ago we put in new park equipment behind us here that was 30,000 dollars plus then we put in new benches. We put in lighting over the playground and shelter to forte the vandalism and that’s helped tremendously,” said Watts.
Bob Berggren, Street and Park Supervisor for Mason City, says its people like watts that are making a noticeable difference in their community.
“I think its good to see the citizens helping out with their city parks because it shows they have passion for the park system and they come up with a lot of good ideas,” said Berggren.
Berggren says once folks get the funding, and then the city does the best they can to work with them to get things done.
“Well you want to see people who care otherwise you end up with a city like Detroit, Michigan that’s caving in, filing for bankruptcy. You don’t want that you want people and citizens that are passionate about their city, to maintain and keep the city up and running, progressing, and moving forward,” said Berggren.
And that’s exactly what Watts wants others to understand as well.
“Well its easy to sit back and complain but getting up and doing something about it is something else and I think that the biggest thing. You want to see something done, get involved,” said Watts.
Watts says in a couple of weeks six different basketball hoops will be put in place.
Along with an actual regulated court size cement slab.
Next on the list, is the new shelter.
Watts says as of right now they are 12,000 dollars short of their goal to finish the remaining projects.
If you would like to donate to Georgia Hanford Park, contact Mason City, City Hall.