ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Cherokee Recreation Department, in conjunction with the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and the Cherokee DARE Program, held a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 10 to officially open the new Birdtown Playground.
Principal Chief Michell Hicks welcomed guests and recognized the individuals and groups who made the playground possible. Chief Hicks, along with Birdtown Representatives Albert Rose and Tunney Crowe, had the honor of cutting the ribbon alongside youth members from the Cherokee community. Immediately following the ribbon cutting, the children in attendance were allowed to test out the new facility.
“It’s fun to watch these kids and put a smile on their faces,” said Chief Hicks. “You know you’ve done good when you see kids enjoy themselves like they are today. We’ve worked on this project for quite a while and we’ve had some good partners with the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, DARE, and Community Watch. We’ve had a lot of positive comments, and at this point I just hope the community gets a lot of enjoyment out of it. Whether it is birthday parties or afternoons after school, it’s good to see the kids smile.”
Rep. Crowe added, “We’ve been working on it for several years, and it finally came to fruition. It’s for all the kids, not just for the Birdtown community, but for all communities to come down and enjoy. I’m glad we have it up and running. Congratulations to all the folks who helped make this happen, and I hope all the kids enjoy it.”
The new playground was a three-year project set in motion from Birdtown recreation aide Terry Taylor, who championed the project by finding the necessary resources to see the project through. With the help of Chief Hicks, James Bradley, director of community and recreation services, and Annette Clapsaddle, Cherokee Preservation Foundation executive director, the project was able to be completed for the Cherokee community.
Clapsaddle commented, “We are excited to be a part of the project because it included community participation and the realization of a project that is targeted toward our youth. We are always excited to be a part of project that has such a positive influence on our people.”