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Friends of Newton Parks tackle Chimney Park
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The Friends of Newton Parks is expecting to host more than 100 volunteers tomorrow at Chimney Park, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a day of cleaning, lunch and playing.

Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful Executive Director Connie Waller said everyone is welcome to come out and help clear out underbrush and exotic, invasive plants at the park in an effort to prepare for future events. Interested volunteers should wear long pants and bring gloves and plant clippers.

Chimney Park is located behind the Covington branch of the Newton County library. The Heartland Women’s Club will provide lunch to volunteers at noon. In addition to the cleanup, Saturday will also be a KaBOOM! playdate at the park, and residents are invited to come out and enjoy the park’s 12 acres of grassland and forest. KaBOOM! is a national organization that promotes the creation of playgrounds. Waller said by having the playdate, Newton County will be entered into a KaBOOM! drawing and could win a free playground at the park.

The cleanup and development of Chimney Park has been a long-time goal and Hands On Newton had a big cleanup in January 2008. Waller said groups have been working on developing a Secret Garden in the park and revitalizing the ruins of the Patterson House, and she said plans for the garden will be on display.

Waller said the location of Chimney Park has made it a priority in the community.

"The Friends of Newton Parks, the group planning these activities, saw the value in having a community park right in town," she said. "It’s also a universally accessible park for all citizens, the handicapped, special needs children, mamas with baby strollers and people with walkers and wheelchairs."

She said one of the reasons for the playdate is to encourage children to go outside and be active.

Several events are planned for the park including the annual Twilights at Chimney Park on Dec. 6, where Christmas lights will be put up and turned on, snacks and refreshments will be served and Christmas stories will be told.

After that the Newton Bicycle/Walking Trail will be created through the park in the winter or in early Spring, and will connect the park to the rest of the trail plans in the county.