GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - The tornadoes of April 2011 destroyed much of Lake Guntersville State Park. Hundreds of trees and many structures near the campsites were ruined. Since then, there has been a lot of work done to rebuild the area. Now, a final effort is being made to restructure the last amenities - a new playground.
Park Naturalist Kate Gribbin says the campsite's numbers haven't been as high as they were before the tornadoes.
"We're hoping that this project, and other projects that the park is working on, are going to be very helpful in getting our numbers back to what they were before the 2011 tornado," adds Gribbin.
Supporting Our Parks Alabama, Lake Guntersville State Park employees, and some volunteers are coming together to make it happen.
"We really want it to emphasize the trees that were lost, and we're going to have some nature boards that give some educational elements to this playground," says Gribbin.
The Tornado Relief Play Project will be ADA accessible, educational, and interactive for children of all ages. Right now the biggest challenge is funding. Park volunteer Jamie McHan says there are multiple ways for people to donate and get involved.
"We have it set up to where people can donate to just the foundation, or they can support the whole play structure, or they can just buy a piece that's going to be in the playground. They can name it after someone in their family or after a corporation."
Organizers must raise $38,000 by November 13th in order to receive a grant to help pay for the project.
"This playground will ensure the longevity of the park. If we've got visitors coming in for new attractions, then we're continuing to promote the welfare of the parks as a whole," adds Gribbon.