NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – North Little Rock’s Burns Park opened a huge part of the area for the first time since an EF-3 tornado damaged hundreds of acres back in March.
Community members came out Wednesday to celebrate the progress in the rebuilding process.
A tornado that ripped through central Arkansas at the end of March left North Little Rock’s Burns Park shut down, roads were closed and people weren’t able to enjoy the park’s facilities.
“I drive down this road two to three times a week and have been waiting for them to open this place up,” Mike Stanley said. “We really have missed it.”
“The devastation still just overwhelms them,” North Little Rock Chief of Staff Mike Davis said.
After months of cleanup and restoration, the city of North Little Rock opened up the gates and the community came to enjoy all of the new amenities like pickleball courts.
“It’s sad what happened,” Davis said. “I mean you come out here, I grew up playing baseball here and then to see what happened, but I am seeing a new breath of fresh air come out here now.”
Mike Stanley said he visited the park often before it closed and now it isn’t quite the same.
“We do ride bikes along the river trail, and you can just see how much devastation is on the roads and how much trees are down,” Stanley said. “It was pretty bad.”
Now there are new opportunities to enjoy.
“It’s fabulous, like I said, we have been waiting for Burns Park to open up, especially down by the soccer fields and other areas that have been shut down because of the roads,” Stanley said.
The North Little Rock Mayor announced they are planning on opening up the soccer complex, tournament drive and the river trail bathroom by the beginning of December.