Hunting Park: History and Revitalization

Tom Ambers and his wife, Bonnie, get away from people by relaxing in Hunting Park.
Amid the broken beer bottles, soda cans and myriad litter stands the once-proud Hunting Park. The former social hub of the neighborhood has seen a long and rough history, but only since 2010 have there been efforts to restore the park.

“There was nothin’!”said Tom Ambers, a local resident of Hunting Park.

Tom Ambers has lived in Hunting Park "for forever."

Despite its current reality the park hasn’t always had such a poor appearance. The park has gone through many changes. At different points in its history the park had a horse track, a lake and a carousel. Looking at it today, you would never be able to tell that any of that was there. The track was closed up, the lake filled in, and the carousel was shipped out of town in the late 1960s.

One of the park’s original features, a music pavilion still stands. It’s even been rumored John Philip Sousa once performed there with his band.

While the park’s condition has declined over the years, Ambers and his wife Bonnie, said things are starting to look good again. The elderly couple witnessed firsthand the decay that has struck the park, but they are excited about the new projects that are currently under construction. A new community garden and a baseball field are expected to be constructed for the park.

“I think Jimmy Rollins is going to be here when they dedicate it,” Ambers said.

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