Punk Smith Park is getting a makeover thanks to donations from many of Walker’s most prominent businesses. The city of Walker has purchased new playground equipment for the park.

The brand new structure will have three slides; two swings; a climbing fort; a clubhouse; a rock-climbing wall; monkey bars; ladders; a sliding pole and more. The city is landscaping the play area.

The new playground is part of Mayor Bobby Font’s commitment to improve Walker’s parks and recreation. Other initiatives include upgrading the ball fields with baseball-grade dirt, lighting and other improvements; contracting with the Livingston Parish Soccer Association to bring soccer to Sidney Hutchinson Park; adding a Summer Art Camps for Kids and other enrichment classes at The Walker Museum; and bringing free cultural events to the parks.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for 9 a.m. Thursday at Punk Smith Park, 12925 Burgess Ave., Walker.

CityFest 5K

Participants can walk, run, push a stroller or pull a wagon in the city of Walker’s CityFest Fun Walk/Run 5K to raise money for new equipment in Punk Smith Park.

The event will be held Saturday at Sidney Hutchinson Park, 13750 Ball Park Road, Walker. The 5K is open to walkers and runners of all ages. There’s a half-mile mini-course for children 10 and under. Registration begins at 7 a.m.; the race takes off at 8 a.m. A celebration follows at 3 p.m.

All participants will receive a CityFest T-shirt, snacks and beverages. All who finish the mini-course will receive a ribbon. Trophies and prizes will be awarded in each age category.

The entry fee is $10 for children 10 and under; and $30 for all others, due the day of the race in cash or a check made payable to the city of Walker. There is no charge for children just along for the ride in a wagon or stroller. All proceeds will go for new equipment at Punk Smith Park.

Those interested can register online to guarantee their T-shirt size. Go to http://www.cityfest.walker.la.usand click on “CityFest 5K.”

Drought assistance

Livestock producers may be eligible for a payment due to this year’s drought, a U.S. Department of Agriculture news release says.

The agency will take applications from Livingston and East Baton Rouge parish producers based on the U.S. Drought Monitor at USDA’s Farm Service Agency, officials said.

Parishes become eligible when the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that a parish has been in a D2 intensity (severe drought) for eight consecutive weeks; a D3 intensity (extreme drought) for one day; or a D4 intensity (exceptional drought) for one day. Producers may view the U.S. Drought Monitor at http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html.

Intereseted producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency office at (225) 664-1430, extension 2 to make an appointment to apply for the program.

To submit news, contact the Florida Parishes Bureau office by phone at (225) 664-9058; by fax at (225) 664-9710; by email at Flor-ida@theadvocate.com. Deadline is noon Thursdays.