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Thorsby plans new park at donated property

Park site: Land donated to the town of Thorsby is located between Iowa Avenue and Minnesota Avenue near the intersection with Jones Street.

Park site: Land donated to the town of Thorsby is located between Iowa Avenue and Minnesota Avenue near the intersection with Jones Street.

Property donated to the town of Thorsby could soon become a park for residents.

Patricia Wilson Bryan, who lives in Gadsden, donated to the town 1-2 acres of land stretching from Iowa Avenue to Minnesota Avenue near the intersection with Jones Street.

The property had long been in Bryan’s family, said Thorsby Mayor Jean Nelson, and she was hesitant to sell the land because it was her last connection to her homeplace.

So, Nelson offered to make the property into a park if Bryan were willing to donate it.

The land was transferred to the town on Oct. 6.

“She was kind enough to let the town have the land because she wanted to honor her dad,” Nelson said.

Nelson said officials plan to make a park at the site that would be named after Bryan’s father, Harvey Lee Wilson, who was a student at the old Thorsby Institute.

The park would be called Wilson Park, Nelson said.

The park would likely feature a walking trail, Nelson said, and maybe benches and picnic tables.

An expert from Auburn University will meet with officials on Nov. 24 to explore options for the space, the mayor said.

“Then, we’ll look and see if we can get some grant money,” said Nelson, who added that she grew up near the property and remembers a large two-story house on the site that burned while she was young.

Since acquiring the land, town workers have cleaned brush from the site.

Without much parking in the area, Nelson said she thinks the park would be used mostly by residents who live within walking distance and probably not attract as many commuters as the town’s Richard Wood Park.

Still, Nelson said she thinks residents would appreciate a park on the other side of Highway 31 from Richard Wood Park.

“It’s a good piece of property,” Nelson said about the newly acquired land.