Leadership Jackson County project team to improve Medora park



One of the purposes of Leadership Jackson County is to develop leadership skills in adults so they can put them into action in the community.

It’s also designed to make participants more aware of the resources and needs of the county’s communities where they live, work and play — the ultimate goal being a successful project designed to improve the community.

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This year’s youth project team of Brian Hamp, Shannon Hunsucker, Makenzie Smith, Jolie Voss and Jill Willey decided they would like to make improvements to the Medora town park at First and George streets.

During a recent Medora Town Council meeting, Hunsucker said the group wants its project to create a space to better serve youth.

The team’s mission is to:

Create a sustainable resource to promote health and wellness in the youth of Medora

Establish a high school leadership program focused on the community of Medora and maintaining the town park

Create a community service day annually that allows for the perpetuation of the project

Secure the necessary funds to start and complete the initial project

Restore the park to a rightful and useful centerpiece for the town

That will involve repairing, repainting or replacing what’s currently in the park.

“The swings, we would like to do a little work on those,” Hunsucker said. “There are three swings that are the old wood. We would like to replace those. We would like to replace the toddler swing that is there, and then there’s one that’s just missing altogether. We would like to replace that with either one of the swings where the parent can swing with the child or a tire swing or something of that sort.”

The plan also is to paint the base of the seesaws and replace seats if necessary; replace the slide and paint the base; replace a missing springy play feature in the toddler area; remove the merry-go-round and install a new piece of equipment; and replace or paint the picnic tables, trash cans and benches.

Landscaping would include putting down mulch or rubber pellets around all of the play areas, a railroad tie box around the swing set and plants and flowers.

There also is a concrete slab where the old bell tower used to be, and the team would like to make a space around it with benches and a Little Free Library so kids could pick out a book and sit down to read it. They also would put a flower box or barrel on the cement base.

On the basketball court, they would like to line it and add hopscotch and four square areas and a learning trail. Plus, they would repaint the backboards, replace the netting and reseal the playing surface.

“There is a learning trail United Way painted for us on the school playground, and the kids really enjoy that,” Hunsucker said.

Finally, they would like the high school art class to paint a mural on the dugout at the baseball field.

The project team wanted to approach the town council so they could partner with the students to talk about what they would like to see with the park. That would involve helping select playground equipment and organizing the annual community service day at the park.

“We want to pull in the kids as much as possible, give them a leadership role in it,” Hunsucker said. “We would like to get them involved with helping to plan a work day each year, whether that is the student council or Beta Club, one of our leadership clubs or even DELTA, just to give those kids some ownership in the park and pride in their town and then teaching those leadership skills.”

The initial cost is around $12,175. If the project team receives donations of rubber mulch, playground equipment and an expressions swing, the total could drop to around $8,000.

Hunsucker said they already have been in touch with or plan to reach out to stakeholders around the county to help with donations to cover most or all of the cost. They also are applying for a grant through the Owen-Carr Township Community Fund.

The team hopes to be able to get most of the work done by May, which is when the project teams give their presentations and they graduate from the Leadership Jackson County program.

Hunsucker said the school is “all in” for creating leadership within its students, she’s glad to receive support from the town and she looks forward to stakeholders stepping up to help.

“I think it’s awesome myself. Thank you,” council President Jerry Ault said.

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To donate to the Leadership Jackson County youth project team’s initiative to improve the Medora town park, make a check payable to Leadership Jackson County and put Medora playground in the memo and mail it to Leadership Jackson County, P.O. Box 982, Seymour, IN 47274.

Cash may be mailed to the same address, and include a note stating how you would like it to be used for the park project.

Donations are tax-deductible.


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