There are more than 100 parks throughout Birmingham, spread across 2,000 acres.
The city is rich with beautiful trees, plants and green spaces, but sometimes neglected areas need a helping hand. Three times a year, volunteers with the Clean and Clear program roll up their sleeves and do their part.
On June 9, the volunteers are headed to Brother Bryan Park! Originally named Magnolia Park, the green space once housed animal enclosures and is considered a predecessor to the Birmingham Zoo. The park underwent significant renovations in the early 1970s, including the addition of a fenced playground, decorative pools and lighting, making the space feel less like a zoo and more like a park.
Stephen Foster, Five Points South Neighborhood Association vice president, said Brother Bryan Park became a strong candidate because it needed refreshing and repairs before upcoming community events. A pop-up dog park and a Father’s Day movie night are scheduled in the space the weekend after the June 9 clean-up.
“We plan on pressure washing the park sidewalks and seating areas,” Foster said. “We’re going to trim low hanging branches off trees to raise sight lines in the park to provide better security and overall aesthetics.”
Foster hopes the Clean and Clear event will have a broad, long-term impact on the use of Brother Bryan Park, which has been underutilized for years. The revitalization of parks through programs like Clean and Clear can create a sense of ownership in the public, Foster said. This promotes participation within the community to keep parks clean even after volunteers leave.
“By cleaning many of these spaces it brings people back into places where they previously hadn’t been,” he said. “We hope the community input will help drive a space that stays filled with residents throughout the week and year.”
Whether it be the caldium of Red Cat Coffeehouse or varied plants outside of Mile End, flowers find cracks in the concrete of downtown Birmingham and add color to a gray landscape.