The Cause: From the Ashes……
Randolph Park has a long history that has impacted so many lives, and it continues to serve as a beacon of community pride for Pulaski County as the #1 Recreation Park in the New River Valley.
On Friday, May 26th, 2023, our community unfortunately experienced a devastating loss to a beloved and very important recreation asset. At approximately 4:30 PM, the Evelyn Alexander Waterpark and pool facility caught fire, ultimately resulting in the total loss of the pool building. This loss has severely impacted the ability to operate the waterpark complex safely and will prevent the County from providing numerous community programs at the complex for the 2023 season.
Community and Public Impact:
The Evelyn Alexander Waterpark averages 40,000 seasonal visitors to the pool annually. Opening Memorial Day, and operating until Labor Day, the summer months at Randolph Park are known for family friendly fun. The waterpark is viewed as a summer destination both for those within our own county but also the surrounding counties and bordering states. The Evelyn Alexander Waterpark staff have always taken great pride in offering a destination experience to those that we serve.
Additionally, the Parks and Recreation department utilizes this incredible asset to reach the youth of our community through full time summer camp programs and swim lessons. It’s used to reach the adults in our community through Pulaski County Club programming such as Aqua Zumba, Lap Swimming, Exercise Groups, and Stroke Technique schools. In 2023, the Parks and Recreation welcomes the start of our very own summer swim league team – the Randolph Park Riptides. Prior to the fire, this team had 40 registered youth and adult competitors and was prepared to host 3 regional swim meets at the waterpark in June, 2023.
How You Can Help the Community:
A contribution to the ‘Rebuilding Randolph Park’ Fund is a tax deductible donation toward our Pulaski County youth. Pulaski County, our Parks and Recreation team, and the smiling faces of every child, family and friend we serve thanks you for your partnership and support in bringing back this beacon of community pride. Though we have insurance, with inflation and building costs we forsee additional funds needed to make our new pool and poolhouse the best there is for our citizens. Your contribution matters.
Evelyn Alexander, a lifelong resident of our community, graciously donated the 87 acres of land to Pulaski County with service and access in mind. Randolph Park was named in honor of Ms. Alexander's parents, Randolph Alexander and Annie Crowgey Alexander. Ms. Alexander held a long-standing reputation of creating access to aquatic activities for the youth of our county. She was known for personally coordinating and transporting our youth to swim clubs in the surrounding areas to ensure they learned how to swim. She presented the parcel of land to Pulaski County with a vision of creating swimming access to the general public in our home community.
The County of Pulaski began construction of this six-million-dollar state-of-the-art outdoor recreational facility in the fall of 2000. The funding came to fruition from Pulaski County, fund-raisers, and generous donations. In 2023, Randolph Park proudly offers the Evelyn Alexander Waterpark, 4 bat and ball fields, a multipurpose field, the county’s largest outdoor playground, 4 shelter facilities, wooded and paved walking trails, and a premier 18-hole disc golf course. Additionally, the park has become home to DAK Lights seasonal light shows, the Pulaski County annual Jack-O-Lantern spectacular, seasonal events, 5k races, weekend travel tournaments, movie nights, and much more.