By Rebekah Martin
Municipal Park, lovingly referred to by many Opelikans as “Monkey Park” welcomed a couple of old friends back home at an event Dec. 1.
Two wooden statues of spider monkeys carved by local artist Ken Murphy were installed and unveiled to the public in a joint event that also featured the newly-renovated Rocky Brook Rocket.
The brainchild of Lisa Thrift, the project, which has spanned three years, was born out of her love for the park and a desire to teach people about its history. Thrift said this project was a way to bring the reality of the monkeys back to the park for those who did not experience it first-hand.
“Our memories are taking off our socks and shoes playing in the creek and catching crawdads, and climbing on rocks at the other end of the creek … riding the train and feeding the monkeys,” Thrift said. I just wanted to be able to bring the memories back,” Thrift said. It’ll be great for the next generation to remember the monkeys in the cage and the Rocket.”
Engraved bricks have been laid around the monkey cage and reflect community support for the project. Bricks with three lines of engraved text can still be ordered and cost $50.
The funds raised are allocated for the maintenance of the project. To order a brick, contact Thrift at email@example.com or 705-5155.
For more information, find the project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/monkeymonument.