On Thursday, September 26, 2019 the Downtown Excelsior Partnership hosted the Opening Ceremony of the Brooke Baxter Memorial Pocket Park in Downtown Excelsior Springs. Nearly 150 individuals came to the ceremony to celebrate its completion. The evening included a social hour and networking, followed by an address commemorating the pocket park and thanking all of the individuals who contributed to the project. The evening concluded with a balloon release to officially open the park.
The Downtown Excelsior Partnership’s mission includes the beautification of Downtown Excelsior Springs. This addition of this pocket park was the perfect opportunity to activate an underutilized space within the Thompson Avenue corridor of downtown. When DEP Board Members and Executive Director approached Tim Tipton about potentially developing the space in 2015 he was excited to be a part of the project and loved the idea. However, Tim had two stipulations that must be met. First, he wanted the project to be completed in one phase and secondly, he wanted the park to be named after Brooke Baxter. Tim was a long time coach of Brooke when she played for Tim’s Tipton Tiger softball program. After that, the DEP Design Committee hit the ground running to brainstorm the entire development process and fundraising components that would need to occur.
There were significant amounts of donations and volunteer efforts that went into the overall completion of the project. Some of those fundraising efforts and individuals that were a major part of the effort were the following:
Owner of the property. Donation of the space.
DEP Board Member & Design Committee Chair
Mark oversaw the project in its entirety. He not only volunteered his own time and effort to the project, he coordinated all activities with the general contractor and other volunteers of the project.
Green Mile Lawn & Landscape
DEP awarded the development contract to Tim Rash of Green Mile Lawn & Landscape. DEP was extremely fortunate to work with this company and are extremely pleased with how the completed project turned out.
Craig is currently a Board Member of DEP and the Owner of C&C Trim. Craig donated his time and talents to construct the bridge located in the park.
David Adams of Owen Lumber
David Adams donated all of the lumber materials needed for the construction of the bridge at a cost of 50% of its total value. David will also be donating the stain and sealant to protect the bridge.
Rex & Carol Baxter
Rex & Carol were large donors to the completion of the project and additionally purchased the three benches located within the park, the vinyl fencing for the park, as well as the flower urns placed at each corner of the paver area.
Gary Sanson owner of S&M Electric
Gary Sanson is also a DEP Board Member and volunteered his time and donated materials to ensuring the pocket park had access to electricity.
Doug Edwards & Keith Easley
These two individuals assisted Mark Spohn with the construction of the fencing in the pocket park.
Matt additionally assisted Mark to ensure that new sods was laid and taken care of the further beautify the park.
Through hard work, dedication of time and donations of dollars, the Downtown Excelsior Partnership was able to complete the project for a total of $28,725.75. It is the intention of DEP to add a mural to the north facing wall on the rear of the Tipton Building to further accent the pocket park. DEP is excited to have this completed project under their belt and are looking forward to seeing the space being use by the public regularly. They hope the pocket park will be used as a site for small events and as a refuge from the bustle for lunch breaks and simply relaxing and visiting with friends. DEP would additionally like to thank all of the individuals who contributed to this project in any way, large or small, and to those individuals who joined them at the opening ceremony last night.