Gov. Bentley visits Wilsonville for park dedication

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley addresses residents in Wilsonville during a park dedication ceremony May 25. (Reporter photo/Jessa Pease)

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley addresses residents in Wilsonville during a park dedication ceremony May 25. (Reporter photo/Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

WILSONVILLE— Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley made a special trip to Shelby County May 25 to address the residents of Wilsonville at a park dedication program May 25.

Hundreds of residents gathered at the corner of County Road 25 and County Road 61 eager to hear from Bentley, Wilsonville Mayor Lee McCarty, representatives from Birmingham and more.

“It’s great to be back in Shelby County; I have always considered Shelby County my home,” Bentley said at the ceremony. “Wilsonville is a great city. It’s growing and Mayor, you and the council and everyone here, I know you are so proud.”

The Wilsonville chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation present Bentley with his own quilt, thanking him for his service in the Air Force.

The Wilsonville chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation present Bentley with his own quilt, thanking him for his service in the Air Force.

McCarty and the Town Council voted to authorize the park project several months ago, and hired Chad Cosby, of Chandler Landscapes, Inc., to design it. The park is a little more than an acre, and utilizes natural resources.

Fountains, created with recycled water, adorn the faux concrete side of the park, and an amphitheater toward the back will allow for many events, Cosby said. He said the park will serve as a city center for activities, such as farmer’s markets, concerts and veteran ceremonies.

“We told the people we talked to we wanted (the park) to be nice and useable and make a statement about Wilsonville…” McCarty said. “I want to thank Chad (Cosby) for this beautiful park, and this beautiful design downtown.”

Charles Ball, executive director of the Regional Planning of Greater Birmingham, spoke on the importance of getting out and enjoying the outdoors, directing his comments to the Wilsonville Elementary students sitting in the grass in the back.

Ball also commended McCarty and the Town Council for making it a priority to preserving the history in Wilsonville, while also making it easy for its residents to enjoy their town.

“I’m just so glad to be here this morning, and so glad to actually see this park because the mayor has been describing it to me every opportunity he gets,” Ball said. “It actually looks as nice as anything you would see in Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville, so hats off to the mayor, the council and anyone else who had anything to do with the park’s development.”

Before the flag raising ceremony by the Wilsonville Boy Scouts, Pam Green with the Quilts of Valor Foundation presented 10 quilts to veterans.

The Wilsonville branch of the non-profit organization, which creates quilts to cover veterans with a comforting and healing quilt, has presented 80 quilts since February 2014 when it formed.

Bentley was the first veteran to receive a quilt; he served in the United States Air Force from 1969 to 1975. He said he was honored to receive the quilt, adding that it is one of the greatest honors he has ever had.

“Mayor, you have a great city, and the people make up the city, so the city is made up by great people,” Bentley said. “It’s good to be here with you.”