Renovated Al Walker Park Unveiled

Huntington unveiled its renovated Alfred J.  Walker Park Thursday, showing off a new basketball court, soccer field, an ADA-compliant playground and more.

Walker was an artist and illustrator who served in World War II, later living near the park on West 11th Street that would bear his name. He died in 1972.

“We’re happy to use this park as a great example of maintenance that’s been long deferred but  we’ve got it rebuilt in a spectacular way. It only takes a second to look around this park and remember what was here and look at what is here now,” Town Supervisor Ed Smyth said. “We’ve got it rebuilt in a spectacular way. I can’t say how impressed I am by how this turned out.”

The star of the unveiling and ribbon cutting may have been Walker’s great-grandson, Ronan, accompanying his father, Seth, who came back to Huntington for the ceremony from his home in Jacksonville, Fla. Ronan, 17 months,  grabbed for the microphone several times, enterained the crowd and applauded as his father spoke about his grandfather and his accomplishments. He was one of several Walker relatives who celebrated the park’s reopening.

The renovated park also includes exercise spaces, cornhole courts and a gazebo. The basketball court is done in blue and maroon, a nod to the two high schools, Huntington and Whitman, that students in the neighborhood attend. Parks Director Todd Jamison said the town plans to add emblems from the two high schools to the court area.

Smyth thanked the group Leaders of the New School, who were instrumental in encouraging the park’s renovations. After the ribbon cutting, Smyth, Councilman Sal Ferro and others tried their hand at shooting baskets. Ferro also took a turn on a  slide before the ribbon cutting.

The soccer field is awaiting the arrival of nets. The park also has a shaded area set aside for picnics.

During his time in the Army, Walker also helped to catalog recovered artwork stolen by the Nazis in Germany and Salzburg, Austria. He also trained at Walt Disney Studios and was responsible for the design of the Seal of the Town of Oyster Bay and the Walt Whitman High School Wildcat basketball banners.

 

 

Huntington Breaks Ground on Overhaul of Walker Park

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