Joplin Parks and Recreation Rebuild

9 years 1 month 1 week ago Thursday, June 30 2011 Jun 30, 2011 Thursday, June 30, 2011 5:30:00 PM CDT June 30, 2011 in News
By: Jim Riek
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"Rebuilding the parks is important, rebuilding the city is more important," Chris Cotton, Parks and Recreation Director, said. "What I have to do is miniscule compared to what the city manager has to do. The damage to the parks is massive you can see we have no trees left, the pool is destroyed the restroom is destroyed. We had two shelters they're gone we can't even find them."

So the task is getting estimates on building a new water slide here.

"So they're from Carthage but we're looking at bringing the pool back better than it was," Cotton said.

Next year not this year, you can see Cunningham Park is right across the street from the hospital.

"What do you remember about May 22nd? The tornado sirens went off as a guy I went out on the back deck to try to see it. I noticed the air smelled funny. I told my wife went back in the house watched the tv and then the stations went off the air ran into one of my staff. He said what are we going to do," Cotton said.

"I said what?" He said the hospital is gone. It dawned on me but it really hadn't sunk in the hospital was truly gone. I cut thru the neighborhood to get here as I got closer one tree down two trees down. Then, I see a house on its side. Then, I said things are real bad. I got to 26th street and said where's the park?"

Five weeks later, the park is bare and your help is needed.

"Once we lay out a plan to put the trees back," Cotton said. "We'll take tree donations trees aren't cheap that's something to consider donations for playground equipment for shelter houses what the park needs we'll be happy to take donations for."

You can donate a tree to Joplin without raising a shovel. The Missouri's DNR plans to set up donation boxes at Parks and Historic sites starting this Saturday.

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