The Lions Club Park was developed in 1967 where West Federal Street intersects with Airport Drive. A major water leak several years ago caused a large area to be affected so that the park was closed for some time. Recently the YMCA’s director, Brandon Bell, obtained a ‘Safe Routes to Parks” grant and has worked with members of the Shawnee Lions Club and the City of Shawnee to make improvements to the 52 year old park.
Four Oklahoma Redbud trees and several ‘Hopi’ crape myrtles have been planted on the east side of the park where it abuts the school playground. Over time the crape myrtles could reach a height of 10 ft. and several feet wide. (When these were being planted and children were on the playground for recess, it was great fun talking with them and explaining what we were doing on the other side of their playground fence.)
City workers have done a fantastic job at the park. The parking lot is being completely rebuilt. The picnic shelter roof has been replaced with new roofing materials and the sidewalk and shelter floor have been repaved with new concrete.
A 12 food square slightly raised bed has been built along the sidewalk leading to the center of the park. Lions Club colors are purple and gold. The shrubs and perennial plants selected for the bed feature those colors. On the south side of the bed Lantana with gold blooms are at the corner with ‘Purple Heart’ Wandering Jew between. Several large boulders in the center of the bed are flanked by Russian Sage which has purple blooms. In the center of the bed a perennial ‘Orange Peel’ Cestrum is located. At present it is small. Next summer it should be about 4 or 5 ft. tall and that wide and covered with blooms. (An example can be seen in the OSU Extension Office Butterfly Garden.)
Variegated Liriope which features purple flowers in the late summer line the east and west sides of the bed. Two ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia shrubs are at the corners on the north side. Between them are more ‘Purple Heart’ Wandering Jew.
It will be interesting to see how these plants develop over time. Lions Club members are committed to seeing that they are watered and cared for so that park visitors can enjoy them.
A grand re-opening of the park is set for 10 am to noon on Saturday, Oct. 19, featuring bounce houses and other activities plus refreshments for children and their parents. This park will be a nice place to spend autumn days. Lions Club members are very appreciative of the work that the city has done to improve this park for residents and visitors.