Watkins family, scout join to repair pavilion in park

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Before Shepherdsville City Park was the city park, it was home to the Watkins family.

James Watkins said from 1965-1998 his parents, Glenda and Lawrence Watkins, owned the land.

“We all just call that place home,” he said.

However, after a flood in 1997, the land was purchased by the city during a Federal Emergency Management Agency buyout to prevent future flooding and to create a city park, Watkins said.

In 1982, the family built a gazebo on the land and today it is still there, but is now known as the pavilion.

“It was the only thing on the street that was left after the flood,” Watkins said.

In the years since, Watkins said he and his family began to notice the pavilion was in need of repairs and wanted to see it re-done.

Blake Myers, a 13-year-old Bullitt Lick Middle School student and Boy Scout, saw the pavilion needed repairs, too, and partnered with the Watkins family to complete the renovations as a service project.

“I wanted to help the people of Bullitt County to be able to use it again,” Myers said.

The city gave Watkins, his family and Myers approval to start the project on May 15. Watkins said renovations began on May 17 and were completed on May 29.

Watkins, his family and Myers also received help from Shepherdsville city council member, Faith Portman.

Portman said she was approached by James Watkins’ brother, Donald, about the condition of the pavilion and was asked to help get approval from the city for renovations.

“They had done it as a family and were sentimental about it,” Portman said. “It was a great story.”

Like the Watkins family and Myers, Portman said she wanted to see the pavilion renovated and not torn down, so she approached Mayor Scott Ellis about the project and he told her about Myers’ desire to renovate the covered facility.

Portman said she was able to connect Myers and the Watkins family together to work on the project.

The Watkins family provided all materials for the project and Watkins said his brothers, Larry, Donald and Robert Watkins, as well as Brian Holder, Steve and Roman Simpson and Duane Price helped with the renovations.

Myers was also an important part of the project, Watkins said.

“Blake was a big help in keeping everyone moving and motivated,” he said.

Renovations to the pavilion included new shingles on the roof, new benches and a new table were added, new shrubs were planted around the outside of the pavilion, existing posts were replaced and a concrete walkway leading to a parking lot near the pavilion was poured, Watkins said.

“It turned out to be a real nice place,” he said. “ We’re happy to see it back in the shape it use to be in.”