Effort to improve Meriden park under way
by Clarke Davis
She wants some modern playground equipment, more trees and a whole lot more people using the park.
An event in the park Saturday to raise funds is the start of an ambitious attempt to meet those goals.
A carnival will be held for families from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a $15 wristband will provide access to all the entertainment from a bounce house and pony rides to numerous games.
Nearly 50 gifts will be given away in a drawing that has been supported by the business community.
“More than 20 businesses have shown their support for the project and have been very generous,” Brading said.
A sand volleyball tournament will be held with teams being asked to contribute $100 to enter.
A concert in the park in the evening will wrap up the day. It will feature the Holmes Street Band from Kansas City promising a variety of songs and styles.
Those attending will be asked for a donation. Jenny said she went to high school with one of the band members and they are appearing here as a favor to help the community at no charge.
Brading went to the city council in February with plans for the park and sought the endorsement of the officials. She has been joined on the committee by Jody Lockhart, Olivia Mayer, and Eryn Allen.
The goal is $75,000, the amount required to purchase two sets of playground equipment — one for toddlers and one for older children.
“We have enough volunteer help to build the equipment at no cost once we get it,” she said.
She noted that the local Chamber of Commerce has promised a donation and she believes others will be forthcoming once they see that the progress is being made. The council provided the committee with $1,000 to help put on the carnival.
Brading is hoping the carnival is a success and if so a similar event will probably be planned for later in the summer.
The committee plans to sell memorial bricks that will enhance a portion of the park and also raise some money. An architect’s plan for the park has been developed with the help of expertise from the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Department.
The park is located on South Owen Street not far from the football complex. It consists of an area well over a city block in size.
The shelterhouse has a new roof and electrical outlets. The sand volleyball court is nearby along with a swing set and two or three other small playthings for children.
The park has a few aging trees and Brading would like to see an enhanced forestry program get under way soon as well.
Jenny is a sales consultant for Aviva in Topeka. She and her husband, Chad, have two sons, Carson, 10, and Cooper, 7.
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