Cherokee debuts sports complex improvements

Cherokee County officials presented park improvements to the Richard “Hunky” Mauldin Sports Complex at Kenney Askew Memorial Park, 1080 Univeter Road, Canton at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 15.

The improvements were made with a $250,000 grant from the Pilgrim’s Hometown Strong initiative in 2020 to the Cherokee Board of Commissioners.

Coupled with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds, Cherokee Recreation and Parks was able to invest around $715,000 in these park improvements.

Cherokee Recreation and Parks Director Jay Worley said in a statement, “These improvements have attracted new users to the park, and I again want to thank Pilgrim’s for this investment.”

They include adding a walking track (one-third of a mile), picnic pavilion and playground.

Existing park features that also received improvements include tennis court resurfacing, creation of pickleball courts and park landscaping.

Pilgrim’s, a leading global food company, has seven plants in Georgia, including one in Canton.

The Pilgrim facility in Canton employs more than 700 people with an annual payroll of about $35 million, paying out more than $17 million each year to local contractors for their chickens, company officials said.

The funding is a part of the $20 million that Pilgrim plans to invest in cities nationwide through its Hometown Strong initiative, a part of a $100 million nationwide contribution from JBS USA.

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