Southaven's Penny for the Parks program a success.

Southern Pines Park in Southaven today
Southern Pines Park in Southaven today
State of park equipment just a few months ago
State of park equipment just a few months ago

(WMC-TV) - Nine area parks are getting the make-overs they need, thanks to hundreds of thousands of one cent coins.

Since November, Southaven diners have placed one penny for every dollar they spend into the fund and it adds up to nearly $300,000.

"It's something that's been needed, it's something that the citizens have been talking about," said Jared Azzone of the Southaven Parks Department.

At the new-look Southern Pines park in Southaven, kids can hang out under the new swing set standing on top of new mulch.

It is hard to believe it's the same park that just four months ago was filled with broken and vandalized equipment.

Neighbors say it's about time.

"I've been here 9 years and they've not did anything here at all," said a nearby resident.

Azzone said the penny for the parks initiative will add to the usual budget of around $200,000.

"The penny for the parks has kind of added a little bit to it, it added about $270,000 to that budget," said Azzone.

"One of the promises we made to the citizens was we're going to upgrade all the local parks first," said Southaven Alderman, Ronnie Hale.

And it's not just families that will benefit.

"We've got a 2 acre dog park that's going to go in," said Azzone.

An off-lease dog area at Milford Park and eight other parks around Southaven will see the benefits this year.

"Having these parks and keeping them improved keeps everybody active, keeps them healthy, and keeps healthy relationships going as well," said Azzone.

Some neighbors at Southern Pines expressed concerns about trash cans being removed and a sinkhole needing work.

The city says repair isn't finished just yet, but they expect it to be soon.

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