Huntsville has a new park!
Jim Marek Park opened up to the public July 11, 2015. The park is in honor of Jim Marek who over the years was a advocate for maintaining the Merrimack Mill Village (the historic homes that housed 200 textile workers that once worked at a textile mill that was destroyed in 1992) and worked tirelessly to improve the neighborhood by installing street lamps, establishing a neighborhood watch as well as many clean up days. He successfully (along with some others) was able to get the Village listed as historic homes. The amount of service and effort was truly an act of love for the area. Marek passed away from cancer in 2013 and this park stands as a reminder of how much he loved this area and the history it holds.
The feel of the park is truly one that speaks of community. It is right in the middle of Merrimack Mill Village with only 2 lane roads surrounding it. There is no parking lot but it is pretty obvious that it was meant to be accessed by those that live in the area within walking distance. Large established trees provide a bit of shade during parts of the day at the end of the field, bike racks are available and a number of kids came and went while we were there.
The grounds are divided into two areas, half being the playground and the other being an open field with grass. A beautiful pavilion with pick-nick tables is located right in the middle.
I personally loved the lay out and the size. When sitting at one of the pick-nick tables you can see every inch of the fenced in park (with gates that close) so my kids were always in site. For me that is a big deal since I have 4 children and they all run in different directions! The pavilion itself was a shady oasis from the sun and can be reserved for events and parties. The park is open from dawn until 1 hour after sunset except for scheduled events.
The play ground is not a large one but my kids all loved it. There is a swing set with 5 swings (1 handicap, 1 baby and 3 regular seats), the main play set (with 3 slides) as well as bouncy animals, a bouncy see saw, and some other fun little things scattered throughout.
- Something we noticed quickly (because it was quite warm the day we visited) is that there are no drinking fountains at the park. Make sure you pack your own water.
- There is very limited parking, however there is some parking available if you park on the West side if you approach the park down Holiday Drive.
As I said before, the layout of the park is a dream for a mom with multiple children. I had a clear view of my kids from the comfort of the pavilion shade and the kids really enjoyed having the freedom to run wherever they like. Next time you are in the area stop by. The people are friendly, the grounds are beautiful and the play area is perfect for a neighborhood park!
Marek Park Details
Hours: Opens at dawn and closes 1 hour after sunset.
Address: 3317 Clopton St. S.W. Huntsville, AL 35805
Contact for scheduling events: Paul Jensen
256-883-3754 / firstname.lastname@example.org