ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA)--On a breezy Tuesday morning, Aberdeen Mayor Cecil Belle and city leaders gathered to view what's left of a once thriving city park.
What they are seeing is not a pretty sight.
There's an old swimming pool full of debris and murky water and a rusted swing set is falling apart
Third ward Alderman Sammy Burroughs remembers better days.
"I've been here in Aberdeen all of my life. And this park was a flourishing park at one time. And once the swimming pool and everything got too old to operate, it just started going down hill," said Burroughs.
City officials hope a new Adopt-A-Park program will turn things around.
It's billed as a city-wide community service that recruits and trains residents to help with the maintenance and upkeep of old neighborhood parks.
Dwight Stevens, whose home overshadows the old park, has signed on already.
"I'm adopting the park. The main reason is that it's right across the street from my house. In recent years there's been a lot of neglect at this park. And a lot of people talking back and forth on what we should do with the park. And in the meantime they've done nothing with it," Stevens said.
The old Acker Park is not the only one that has been adopted.
Newburger Park sits in the shadow of the Housing Authority and has been adopted as well by a local Masonic lodge.
"It is a big deal and it's something that we are trying to involve the citizens in our town in our park program," said Mayor Belle.
Mayor Belle says he would like to see General Young Park adopted as well.
Margie Clay is pitching in by joining the Parks Task Force.
"I'm hoping I can work with Mr. Stevens and the Masons who have adopted the parks to help bring some money in," Clay said.
Those who participate sign a contract with the city to maintain the parks and the hours worked each month are recorded.