City Leaders Celebrate Upgrades To Cisterna Park

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)- City leaders are celebrating all the hard work being done at a downtown park.

Cisterna Park at North 10th and Garrison Ave. now has new sidewalks, benches, landscaping, and brick and granite around the fountain.

“A lot of work has gone into Cisterna Park, and this is an opportunity to basically rededicate the facility and bring recognition to the people who live in Fort Smith that the work has been done primarily by members of the Parks and Recreation Department’s staff,” Mayor Sandy Sanders said.

There's also a new $18,000 clock from the Hearts Gravel Garden Club.

“A lot of things have been done here, that I think people will recognize and it makes the park a lot more enjoyable, as well as more attractive,” Mayor Sanders said.

Another project is also in the works.

“We knew we wanted to do something,” Joe Armstrong, VP and Founder of the General Darby Project said. “It was about the same time that they completed the Bass Reeves project, so we thought what better way is to honor General Darby the same way as Bass Reeves was honored and do it right here in the downtown area also.”

Armstrong said they're almost done raising the money for a statue of General William Darby.

“We raised a little over $65,000 this year alone,” he said. “Our total goal is 150,000.”

Armstrong said they have raised $130,000 so far. The statue is being built in Little Rock, and it will then be sent to Norman, Oklahoma for the finishing touches. It will be placed in the park by April 30. That’s the day General Darby was killed in Cisterna, Italy during WWII in 1945.

“He was killed near Cisterna during WWII, and so this will be an appropriate location for that,” Mayor Sanders said.

In the meantime, Armstrong is selling memorial bricks for $75. Five-hundred bricks will go around the statue once it’s mounted in the park.

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