Blair City Park gets in shape with Certified Healthy Oklahoma grants

Jason Angus

April 4, 2014

Ever since the City of Blair purchased a 20 acre field located off Main Street to build a fire station and recreation area, the Blair City Park has added feature after feature with the help of the community and grant incentives.

“Little by little every year through donations and fundraisers, we added the pavilion first and continued adding things bit by bit,” said Crickett Davis, Blair Parks Committee member. “So, we’re still adding to it.”

So far, the pavilion, softball field and play area have been built through the efforts of the Blair community, Parks Committee, and the Blair Fire Department. Several times throughout the year volunteers hold fundraisers and auctions to raise money for project developments at the park. Often, the Blair Fire Department holds pancake breakfasts or suppers, and the Parks Committee has their Annual “Park Swing.”

“There has been a tremendous community support to get this park where it’s at now,” said Jackson County Health Department Nutrition & Fitness Coordinator, Tara Turner. “A lot of man hours go into the fundraisers whether it’s with the fire department or the Park Swing. It’s all volunteer based. These ladies right here are really the core of it and get things moving and they make things happen in our community.”

In 2011, the Blair City Council applied to become a Certified Healthy Oklahoma Community by looking at specific policies concerning public health and wellness, Turner explained. To be eligible for certification, and grant incentives, Blair adopted ordinances that encourage healthy behavior in the community like increased physical activity, consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables, sidewalk development for increased mobility, and making all City owned properties tobacco free.

As a result, the City of Blair Parks Committee received a $10,000 grant that was used to install a new basketball court this past February. They are still eligible to receive an addition $10,000 to continue the development of the City Park.

With additional grants and community efforts, new features will be added to the park including lights for the softball field, upgraded restroom area and more.