Mercy Park Opens in Joplin
Joplin residents can now enjoy 16 more acres of land within city limits. Mercy Park officially opened this morning with a ribbon cutting. Residents are already walking on the trails and enjoying the views.
The land was donated by the hospital after it decided to rebuild elsewhere. The $5 million project was built using disaster relief funds.
The mayor and chairman of the Mercy board spoke to the large crowd, touching on the importance of the park.
“There was the event and then there were the dreams and the ideas. Now we’ve been able to put those dreams and ideas to work and now we’ve got a completed project, something that everybody’s proud of but that everybody’s just ready to enjoy,” says Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert.
The public helped to name the park and city officials say the word “mercy” was in more than half of the entries. Those citizens that entered Mercy Park, Danny Thomas, the Chairman of the Mercy Board and the Mayor skipped stones in the new pond to commemorate the opening.
They say this project helps the City to come full circle.
“This is just a continuation of progress that hopefully citizens are seeing and support and realize that we really are a community that is known not for our disaster but for our recovery ,” says Seibert.
The memory of the hospital still remains in the park. T he Mercy Chapel and Gardens is in the center of the park, a memorial to the lives lost. The chapel in the exact location it had been before the storm.
“We knew that the one most unique thing we had was the chapel which had a stained glass ceiling. We were able to save the stained glass but unfortunately it was not reusable. We did though build on the same pattern and at night that illuminated part on top glows,” says Thomas.
The park is not finished yet, more trees will be planted and a butterfly mural will be painted next week.