While nearly 100 youngsters were fishing Saturday, members of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance were putting the finishing touches on Nichols Park.
From a new 30-foot flagpole to new wood-stained picnic tables, the park has been made more family-friendly.
DSC00063“We completed our 100th project last year and Nichols Park was one of those,” said Forrest Parker, director of conservation and community outreach for the alliance.
Work by the union-led organization started Sept. 30 with over 110 volunteers doing everything from clearing brush to installing a new floating fishing dock and grills. “This project was the single largest one-day effort by the organization.”
That work was marked with installation of a metal sign in front of the shelter house pavilion listing the union trade groups and others instrumental in the work.
“Henryetta has always been a big supporter of union labor in Oklahoma. This is the least we could do,” said Jimmy Fish, executive director of the Oklahoma Building and Trades Council.
“None of this would be possible without the help of the unions,” said Henryetta mayor Jennifer Clason. “What you did in one day would have taken us months. Unions get a bad rap. Henryetta is pro union. We appreciate all you do across the nation.”
At the dedication ceremony marking the end of the project, keynote speaker Steve Kouplen said the work was a continuation of what was started by the Works Progress Administration from the 1930s.
Recalling $4.8 billion had been set aside for the WPA, that organization built 651,000 miles of roads, 124,000 bridges, 125,000 public buildings. “They built 8,192 parks just like this one,” he said. “It is a real pleasure that someone has tried to keep it for the future.”20180310 122859
Kouplen said the work today should be a continuation of the dream WPA founder Franklin D. Roosevelt had in his second inaugural address: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we have provided enough to those who have too little.”
“That is what government is all about. Government should strive for that,” he said.
The alliance provided fishing poles and tackle at no charge to all the youngsters who came to the park Saturday