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Drury University team seeking volunteers to work on Cunningham’s Overlook Project

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE CITY OF JOPLIN

Drury University team seeking volunteers to work on Cunningham’s Overlook Project

As work continues on the Landscapes of Resilience project in Cunningham Park, Traci Sooter, Design/Build Program Director with Nancy Chikaraishi and Drury University, will lead a team of students to complete several projects during the week of November 4 through November 9. During this time the team will “blitz build” the Butterfly Garden and Overlook in Cunningham Park.

The group will stay in Joplin all week and build, utilizing an “Extreme Makeover” style, five elements of the project that were designed by Drury Students in their third year of architectural studies. Sooter and her group refers to this type of energetic work as Extreme Design/Build: Drury Style.

The group also needs assistance from the Joplin community and invites residents to join them in the work on Saturday, November 9. To volunteer, contact Courtney Swan at Drury University 417-873-7809 cswan@drury.edu Upon registration, volunteers will be given more details on parking and logistics for the day, but should plan on bringing work gloves and wearing sturdy shoes.

Prior to the community day, the student team will work on the following projects at the overlook site:

Pouring concrete for the water wall feature
Erecting a pavilion
Finishing and installing benches
Building two small water features

On Friday, November 8, a “SmartMob!”, (a bus of Drury students) arrive to build stone walls, while enjoying a “Rejuvenation Station” in which Music Therapy students will play music and provide refreshments. On Saturday, Joplin Community Day, crews will finish construction of the five Drury elements, finish stone walls and clean up the site.

Funding, materials and labor for the project has been donated by the TKF Foundation, Wal-Mart, Joplin Parks and Recreation, Drury University, Great River Associates, Missouri ReLeaf, Missouri Department of Conservation, Lighting Solutions, Monarch Concrete, Meeks Lumber, Anderson Engineering, Baxter Vault, Pedal Pushers Garden Club of Joplin, Ozark Nursery, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Conservation and Development Association of Southwest Missouri, and Federated Garden Club of Missouri.

This project was announced during the program of the second anniversary event recognizing the community’s resilience, resolve and realization throughout the recovery work since May 22, 2011. Sooter spoke on behalf of the TKF Foundation, telling the crowd about this project which provides Joplin and New York City a portion of a $585,000 grant to each community in order to create an open space in recovery and healing. A multi-disciplinary research and design team proposed the “Landscapes of Resilience” project that will study the role of open spaces in recovery from both the Joplin 2011 tornado and Superstorm Sandy that hit New York City and surrounding area, killing 72 people and causing extensive damage in October 2012.

Since the announcement, Drury students have gathered stories of courage, heroism and resilience from community members to be included as part of this new educational space and healing garden at Cunningham Park, thanks to the TKF Foundation’s Open Spaces Sacred Places initiative. The Foundation’s OSSP fosters natural settings for the public in helping them cope with stress and burdens resulting from disasters.

Joplin’s Butterfly Garden and Overlook will be located in the northeast section of Cunningham Park, within three lots the City recently purchased following the tornado.

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