An annual fund-raising event at the Nashville City Park will have special meaning this year.
“March for the Parks” is set for Saturday, March 8. Money raised by the event will go for construction of the Ronny K. Woods Wildlife Trail pavilion. Woods was a devoted member of the Nashville Parks and Recreation Commission from January 2005 until his death in August 2011. At the time of his death he was serving as chairman, and was active in events at the park until his last days. The twisting half-mile wildlife trail named in Woods’ memory winds through an old pecan orchard and beside a bubbling creek in the northwest corner of the park grounds.
Among the planned money-raising activities at the “March” are the park’s first softball tournament of the year; children’s games and activities; and a raffle for four significant prizes.
Raffle items include: a 39-inch Emerson LED television valued at $300 and donated by Walmart; an Echo Backpack Blower valued at $500 and donated by D&J Equipment; a 24-gun safe valued at $700 donated by R&J Supply; and a Louisville 6-ft. ladder and Klein 7-piece nut driver set valued at $200, donated by Wholesale Electric.
Raffle tickets are $1 each and are already on sale at the park office, city hall, the chamber of commerce, and from park employees.
Winners need not be present at the drawing which will take place at 2 p.m. at the softball field concession stand, weather permitting.
The wildlife trail was built with a grant of $88,400 from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The city contributed a parking lot, and the plantings at a wildflower meadow and a game food plot.
The pavilion itself will be built totally by donations and local labor, Park Director Nikki Cherry said. About $15,000 must be raised before a construction starting date can be set, she said. The site for the pavilion is already known.
The parks and recreation commission decided to commemorate Woods’ lifetime of service to the community by giving the trail his name. In addition to the park, he was a positive community influence who served with the chamber of commerce, the Howard County Children’s Center, the Rotary Club, Nashville Volunteer Fire Department, community television, and Immanuel Baptist Church. He and his twin brother, Donny, owned and operated Woods & Woods Public Accountants. Brother Donny succeeded Ronny on the parks commission.
The wildlife trail itself goes through diverse areas which appeal to birds, butterflies and other animals, in addition to boasting a wide variety of trees and plants. One of the features is a wildlife ‘blind’ which enables visitors to better observe wildlife. There will be signs posted along the route telling visitors what they could observe.
“We hope the community will come out and enjoy their park, March 8, and be a part of finishing this wonderful wildlife trail and pavilion,” Cherry said.