CASSATT, S.C. — David Stokes Jr. is a lifelong resident of the rural community of Cassatt.
The unincorporated area of the town is located between Camden and Bethune and only has one intersection, but it's home to many like Stokes. In 2007, he bought land from another resident back and decided to transform the space into a community park called, "Stokes Legacy Park" which he says he named after his father, who he says was a good man.
"A vision, you know I'm always one of those guys that I don't believe when a person tells me I can't do something or it's not a good idea, I do it anyway because it's in my heart," says Stokes Jr., Park Creator.
Stokes Jr. used to play baseball with those in the community and they would go from park to park each week,, including the land that he purchased. He eventually decided he wanted to make it a permanent place and when the site became available, he developed it.
"I said well once I get some property I'm going to build one and it's not going anywhere, we don't have to changing you know back and forth and depending on other people to do things," he added.
The site has turned into more than a baseball field: it now has a basketball court, swings, slides, and even a building with a fireplace on the outside. But Stokes Jr. says there is more work to be done.
"The biggest thing for the children, I'm trying to find a nice playground or whatever for 5-12 to play on so that's one of my next big issues," he adds.
He wants those nearby to come to relax and have fun rather than having to drive 10 to 20 minutes in either direction to Camden or Bethune.
"There's not a park anywhere close, so for someone to do that to give them something other than staying at home and playing on video games, they're just so happy about it," says Tracy Paul, Owner of HWY1 Cafe, located right in front of the park.
"It means a lot for the kids, he works with the kids out there cleaning the land, and they all helping him towards it," adds Resident Tony Wilson.
Stokes Jr. says those who come must follow the rules listed on the gate when entering.
The park is located at 1912 Red Hill Church Road, Cassatt, SC, 29032.