City of Athens receives grant to turn chicken plant site into park

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City of Athens logo(City of Athens)
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 10:08 AM CST
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - The City of Athens received a grant from the Dekko Foundation to turn an abandoned chicken plant site into a park.

According to a press release from the city, the $250,000 grant will be used to build Sunrise Park, featuring a splash pad an an all-inclusive playground. The chicken plant located on the 32 acres on Pryor Street was owned by Pilgrim’s Pride until 2009. After the plant closed, the City of Athens and Pilgrim’s Pride began negotiations for the city to buy the property.

The chicken plant located on the 32 acres on Pryor Street was owned by Pilgrim’s Pride until...
The chicken plant located on the 32 acres on Pryor Street was owned by Pilgrim’s Pride until 2009.(City of Athens)

Once the city and Pilgrim’s Pride reached an agreement for the city to purchase the property, asbestos, old buildings and holding ponds were removed from the property.

The Athens City Council announced $1 million from the General Fund 2021 surplus would go towards the project. The Limestone County Legislative Delegation also awarded $28,967.50 towards the project. Athens Ladies Civitan contributed $2,500 and is discussing a second donation towards the project.

The first phase of the project includes an entrance from Pryor Street, the playground and...
The first phase of the project includes an entrance from Pryor Street, the playground and splash pad with bathrooms.(City of Athens)

The first phase of the project includes an entrance from Pryor Street, the playground and splash pad with bathrooms. Parking and shade structures will be constructed as well.

According to the City of Athens, this phase is planned to be completed by spring 2024.

A future phase of the project will include a dog park, amphitheater, green space, food truck area and Singing River Trailhead.