Kiwanis offers to help enhance city environmental park

Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 03:57 PM.

The center contains more than 100 native trees, each labeled for identification; a fishpond; and a butterfly garden built as a project by Girl Scout Yvonne Masters. The park’s small museum contains exhibits about area animal and aquatic life, and local forestry traditions and industry. Its open-air pavilion is used for educational programs and kids’ picnics.

Local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts periodically visit the center. Nearby, at the foot of the tower, is a former scout hut, once a forester’s cabin, from the days when a Kiwanis-sponsored Boy Scout troop was based at the park. In December, Jacob Somers, an Eagle Scout candidate with Troop 773, produced new identification plates for the trees, McMahon said.

“There have been several Eagle projects there over the years,” Boy Scout area Unit Commissioner Rae Schwartz said. “It’s a great facility for the community. Our scouts would be happy to work with the Kiwanis on enhancing it.”

McMahon said he was encouraged by the Kiwanis offer and looks forward to working with the club to enhance the center and attract more visitors.

“There are so many possibilities there,” he said. “I can see some they haven’t even thought of it yet.”

Lack of staff at the park is one reason it is underused, McMahon said. Though retired, he frequently serves as a guide through the environmental center when groups visit.

“The city is fairly limited in manpower and they don’t have many people trained in environmental subjects,” he said, adding foresters would make ideal partners with the park’s redevelopment. “We have contacts in many areas and we could get specialists in many subjects to come over to the park and do presentations.”



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