Sports & Recreation
Bruner Memorial Park
Bruner Memorial Park is located at 10190 S. County Rd. 55 (the Ashford Hwy) in a triangle piece of property at the junction of Cottonwood Rd. (State Hwy. 53) and S. County Rd. 55. It is across from the Cottonwood First Baptist Church. This triangular block was residential containing three homes. The oldest of the structures and larger lot was owned by the Bruner family. A second lot and structure fronting Cottonwood Rd. was originally owned by A.C. and Evie Kingry. North of that site was a vacant corner lot. Over the years the Bruner house was home to families and businesses (a restaurant and a daycare). After many years of being unoccupied and becoming deteriorated, the family donated the property to the Town of Cottonwood in early 2007. Then Mayor, Lomax Smith, envisioned Cottonwood's first municipal park. Soon the structure was razed and the lot cleaned of overgrowth. The planning phase began. Proposals were made and diagrams of possibilities were drawn. Several century-old Oak trees dotted the property but other greenery was missing. It was suggested that Mr. James Hughes be contacted to ask direction on repopulating the land with the appropriate foliage. The Hughes family is very civic minded and knowledgeable of land management. Their personal lands had previously been designated a "Treasure Forest" by the AL. Forestry Commission. The family along with the local Boy Scout troop sampled the earth of the lot and made a determination of what types of trees and plants would grow best. Soon after, the greenery was planted and grass seeds were sewn.
Since the beginning of the project there have been many more phases completed. These include a playground set donated by Harper's Joy Church and covered picnic tables. The vision of Mayor Smith did not diminish after his death. In late 2011 the adjacent lot and its structure along with the vacant corner lot on Houston St. were obtained. The structure was razed and this parcel will be used as an expansion of the park with a covered meeting area for larger crowds. The corner lot will soon be paved for off road parking and the main entrance. One occupied residence currently remains on the block.
Cottonwood Sports Complex
The complex is located on D. Hodge Rd. west of downtown. It is home to four little league baseball/softball fields and also the regulation high school baseball field. Space for other activities is available well. Further development of the property and facilities is still in progress.
D.M. Hicks Stadium
Into the early 1960's, the Cottonwood Bears home field was a predominately dirt and pebble covered area where the current elementary buildings now stand. In the mid 1960's adjacent property to the north of the campus was obtained for a modern football field. It would be one of the most elite sports fields in the county.
It was dedicated to Dr. Dorman M. Hicks, MD of Cottonwood. Dr. Hicks was a legend in Cottonwood "forever" and the townspeople only saw it fitting to honor him in this way. Dr. Hicks was a very civic-minded man and served several terms on the town council. But his primary role was the "local doctor". His office was located on Metcalf St. downtown. He always saw patients there but he also made his daily "house calls". Additionally, if called for an emergency, he and his black bag were on the way. He was a "country doctor" that exists no more.
Over the years, the stadium appearance has change little, but also has changed a lot in order to keep up with progress and changing times, not to mention a fantastic sports program that grows each year.