To be built on a site that formerly housed the city's Social Security building and which J. and Ginger Stern, children of the foundation's founder, purchased in 2016, the park will feature walking paths, a fenced-in dog park, a pavilion for picnicking, a "little free library," and a caboose relocated from the city's old train depot. Work on the park, which was designed by landscape architect Morgan Beadles, the curator of Auburn University's Davis Arboretum, began in February and is expected to be completed by mid-September.
J. Stern told the Observer that he and Ginger inherited their late father's interest in giving back to and improving the community for future generations. "We're doing things a little more publicly than he did, because we want to honor mom (Roslyn) and dad," said Stern, "and that's why we're doing this...just to try and help and give back to a community that has been good to our family."
"It's close enough to a lot of the downtown, where people can just walk over there if you just need some peace," said Ginger Stern. "You can go over there and walk around and enjoy yourself in downtown Opelika with a green space that's not really available right now."