Claremore Daily Progress

July 21, 2013

Will Rogers Park Project takes root

Salesha Wilken
Staff Writer


Work continues on the planning stage of the renovation of Will Rogers Park and the Master Gardeners Association of Rogers County is sprouting roots as a key player in the project.
The gardeners spoke to the Claremore City Council last week in an effort to show their support and highlight plans for participation.
“We want to create a demonstration/teaching garden,” said Ann Baker, co-president.
She said Parks and Recreation Department Director Joe Kays has been “great to work with” and has designated an area in the park for the group.
“We are planning to create a destination where people want to come, take pictures, etc. It will be more than a teaching garden,” Baker said. 
The group is asking the city to provide written documentation to support their participation in order to apply for grants.
“We have had many members that have asked for this, as we will be working to beautify the entire park,” Baker said. “We are ready to create something for the community.”
The master gardeners previously constructed the butterfly garden at the RSU Nature Reserve and have ambitions to make the Will Rogers project another success story for the organization.
“This is a huge project, something that we welcome, but something we want to be smart about,” Baker said.
Securing the appropriate documentation and planning will assist the non-profit organization, she added.
Ten master gardeners were at the meeting to show their support and commitment to the project.
Baker said the group understands that funding for the project is limited and requested participation in any funding sources the city would have available, but she acknowledged that they would also need to raise money independently.
Kays will be bringing a master plan to the council in the next few months to help organizations involved with planning and allocation of financial resources.
The city has only a limited cash budget at this time dedicated to the park project, however it is making a significant contribution through the addition of the splash pad.
The park will include a playground, splash pad, master garden, and veterans memorial.
City Manager Jim Thomas said the city is putting some good seed money into the park.
Viewed as a community gathering place, the park will be designed to attract people of all ages who want to enjoy a nice park, according to project organizers.
“We want the park to be beautiful and for people to love the park as much as we do,” Baker said.
The Rogers County Master Gardeners are just one of the key players in the project and will be working closely with the city, as well as with Crystal Campbell, project organizer.
For more information about the park project, contact Campbell at (918) 381-4482.