SPEECH AT GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY
FOR COMMUNITY PARK

OCTOBER 8, 2004


It is a pleasure for me to officiate at the ground-breaking ceremony the new park being created for the community of Franklin.  This park is an excellent example of working together for the best interest of the community.  

Today marks the beginning of the construction of a park that will contribute significantly to the quality of life of the residents of  this community.

Phase 1 of this  51,000 square foot park will be complete this fall.  Phase 1 will involve preparation of the grounds, removal and reshaping of trees, planting of a portion of the flowers and trees and installation of a walking path.   Phase 2 of the project will begin in the spring of 2005.   Phase 2 will include placing playground equipment, a bocce court, a  horseshoe pit and a shelter area which will include picnic benches and more landscaping.   The signage of the park will be included in Phase 2. 

I’d like to thank everyone for working so hard to make this day possible. I also want to thank each of you for coming – and offer a special welcome to our friends who have made this day possible.   While community residents have worked countless hours this would not be possible without the generosity of our friends and neighbors.  I would like to congratulate all those who have partnered with us on this very important milestone.  We would like to thank  Ken Webb of Gold Bank, managers of the Pritchett Trust,  John Harrison and Matt Parcel of “All In The Garden“, Dr. Talaat Yaghmoor, Chris Ward with Pittsburg Area Community Foundation, Kevin Mitchelson of Wheeler and Mitchelson, Pittsburg, Scott Crain of Pittsburg and Boy Scout Troup #71 of Arma for helping with Phase 1 of this project.    We welcome those who are here to witness the start of a new chapter in the history of Franklin.

The park will be enjoyed for decades to come.   We can almost feel the presence of the children 100 years ago playing on this very spot which was the location of the Franklin Grade School.  We can almost hear their laughter.   We can also hear the laughter of children of the next generation following in their footsteps.    We also hear echos from the Community Hall which stood at this site for many years.   Many family gatherings were held in that hall.   We dedicate this park to the many generations who have walked these grounds, shared valuable time with their families and created lifelong memories.  

As we being Phase 2 we will be looking to our friends to help with this worthwhile project.  

We know that amenities like parks help change an area from just being new homes and sidewalks to truly being a neighborhood. Parks and open spaces offer a place for us to meet. A place for us to sit, stroll, play, listen to a concert, or read. A place to watch the changing of the seasons.  We’ll all look forward to seeing the park’s progress as it begins construction   There will be more to celebrate as we see this new neighborhood continue to take shape.

Let’s begin that next page in the history books by breaking ground on this new park!     

---Craig Stokes, President, Franklin Community Council, Inc.

Community Park
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