P.S. Jones Park almost complete

Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Washington area kids could be climbing, sliding, jumping and even zip-lining at P.S. Jones Memorial Park in the next couple of weeks if the weather cooperates.

Work has proceeded in stages over the last few years on the park, located at the corner of West 11th and North Bridge Streets right next door to the former high school.

The City of Washington contributed $130,000 toward the completion of the playground area, to add other infrastructure around the park and improve the drainage in the area.  The playground equipment has been delivered and crews are working to get everything installed within the next week or two.

The Kate B. Reynolds Trust previously gave Beaufort County Schools $145,000 to start the playground and picnic shelter. BCS owns the six acre park while the city maintains it.

The Trust also awarded a $55,000 to build a concrete walking trail around the perimeter and not quite four years ago, the city voted to spend $56,100 for a restroom facility.

“We are just about finished with a project that has steadily grown and improved,” Mayor Donald Sadler said. “Getting the final $130,000 allocation was my first vote as a councilman last year. “We’ve had to go in stages as we raised the money and I think it will look great when it’s finished.”

ReLeaf Washington, a local no-profit, dedicated to planting trees around town has donated several to add to the park’s aesthetic appeal.

The Beaufort County United Way’s Born Learning program also provided signs along the walking trail that highlight activities for younger children to participate in that encourages recognizing letters and numbers and hopscotch squares on the ground to promote movement and exercise.

The P.S. Jones alumni association has also participated in several ways, including building a brick wall at the northeastern edge of the park with names of former students and others from the community on each brick.  A plaque with Peter Simon Jones’ picture on it sits in the middle of the wall.

Jones was a Washington educator and for whom the former P.S. Jones High School was named. Jones served at the school from 1927 to 1949. Washington Colored High School’s name was changed a year later to honor the former principal.

“I think he would like it if he could see it,” Sadler said. “The park provides a safe place for kids to play and for the community to gather. There’s plenty of room to host outdoor family events while we are social-distancing and the various stations along the walking trail promote healthy living and encourage folks of all ages to exercise. The community is very excited for the park to open and I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback.”

The picnic shelter is reserved on a first come-first served basis by calling 252-946-9644. No animals, skateboards or bicycles are allowed in the park and all group activities need to be approved by the Washington Parks and Recreation Department.