Nurse spearheads effort to build park

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By Johnathan Ryan

KERSHAW – The town of Kershaw needs a children's park, says Beverly Timmons, who's hoping the community will get behind her efforts.

Timmons, a volunteer with Kershaw Area Resource Exchange (KARE), is working with a longtime friend to get the support and funding to build a park either in downtown Kershaw or revitalize an existing park just outside town limits.

"There are a lot of families with young children and there's no park for them in Kershaw," Timmons said, noting the park would be primarily for preschool and elementary school students. "We need one for family enjoyment and so children can participate in activities that will help their physical and social development."

Timmons is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Kershaw Family Medicine, which is led by her husband, Dr. James Timmons.

"I'm interested in children's health and well being," Timmons said.

Timmons' longtime friend, Carolyn Anderson, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., is also helping with the project. Anderson donated her time to community causes in Kershaw this past summer and developed an interest in the town.

"She worked with Youth Serve over the summer. She got really interested in the needs of Kershaw," Timmons said.

Timmons asked Kershaw Town Council to consider the park project last month. She asked the town to consider contributing land, while retaining ownership of it. She also asked the town to maintain the park and have it insured.

"We'll certainly explore the possibilities to make this a reality for the community," said Mayor Tommy Baker at the meeting.

Town Administrator Tony Starnes said Friday that he has been working with Timmons to identify some possible sites, both downtown and outside downtown, for the park. Timmons hopes the park will be between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet and have plenty of equipment for children to play on.

Two companies are being considered to help design the park.

One option being considered is to let a company acquire a sponsor who would donate pre-fabricated equipment at the park. Another option is to have a company custom design the park equipment, but that would be more expensive, Timmons said.

With either option, fundraising would be needed to pay for consulting fees and playground equipment. Timmons said plans are already being made about raising funds for the park.

There will be a community meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Kershaw Community Health Education Center at 212 E. Marion St. for residents to discuss the proposed park. Timmons hopes the public will come to the meeting to learn more about plans for the park.

"We would like the community to come together and design the park," Timmons said. "We want this to be a community project."

Timmons hopes the park can be built by next spring.

Contact Johnathan Ryan

at 416-8416 or