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As far back as the 1920s, the civic-service club helped establish the look of the downtown area.

They hired the sons of the landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park to create a park system for Birmingham.

Many of those parks remain an integral part of the green fabric of the city.

These include East Lake, Linn, Avondale and George Ward, along with the Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

In the 1930s, the Kiwanis Club was instrumental in getting the statue of Vulcan located to its current perch atop Red Mountain, prominently overlooking the city below.

Vulcan has become the unmistakable symbol of Birmingham, a familiar figure always standing tall against the skyline.

So in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham in 1917, club officials pay homage to those past contributions. By creating a new park that will be connected to Vulcan Park.

The club which has more than 500 members – making it the largest Kiwanis Club in the world – is holding a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday for the new Kiwanis Centennial Park/Vulcan Trail.

The $4 million project that will once again dramatically change the look of the city.

“The city of Birmingham really hadn’t been around that long when we were formed, so we think our history sort of tracks the history of Birmingham,” KCOB President Thomas Thagard III said.

“We’re celebrating by giving back to the community, with Kiwanis Centennial Park.

“We solicited ideas from organizations all over Birmingham about what our centennial-year project should be.