HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg recently had a gem of a park and a jewel of a former employee honored by the Mississippi chapter of the American Planning Association.
Town Square Park received the AMA chapter’s “Great Public Space” award, which is bestowed on “extraordinary examples of great planning combined with public commitment and extensive community participation.”
The park is home to the city’s “farmer’s market,” as well as concerts and other events.
“Town Square Park’s inclusion on the American Planning Association’s 2020 ‘List of Great Places’ is a testament to the vision and work of so many community leaders who came before us,” Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said in a release.
“Over the course of nearly 25 years, people like Eddie Holloway, J. Ed Turner, Ed Blake, Sally Hughes, Sarah Newton and the persistent citizen leadership of the Hattiesburg Downtown Association have transformed a vacant lot into the heartbeat of community and entertainment in our city. This award pushes us to aspire further and cast an even greater vision for Town Square Park, Gordon’s Creek and our entire city.”
The chapter also recognized three “giants in the field” posthumously for their impact on the planning industry, including Hattiesburg’s Kevin Jordan.
Jordan was honored for his work on behalf of the citizens of Hattiesburg for 13 years as well as his work with members of the American Planning Association to increase transparency and the inclusion of all voices within the statewide chapter.
Jordan passed away in April due to complications with COVID-19.
“Of all the losses we have felt this year, Kévin Jordan’s has been one of the hardest for our city,” Barker said. “He was beloved by his co-workers and his clients, and there remains a great absence in his department and throughout City Hall. This honor bears further witness to Kévin’s legacy.”
Both awards were presented during a virtual presentation earlier this month. For more details about the APA or the awards program, visit http://www.apamississippi.com/.