Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Cunningham Park

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Cunningham Park

Article excerpt

Joplin, Missouri

The historic EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin souri, on May 22, 2011, devastated the entire com¬munity, but meteorologists indicate the twister's power was at its strongest in downtown Cunning¬ham Park, which had been a restful haven for cit residents for more than a century. Prior to the tor¬nado, the park featured tennis and basketball courts, playground equipment, picnic pavilions, a walk¬ing trail, and a pool, but the storm razed everything to the ground, leaving the community of Joplin bereftof its beloved park when it needed it the most.

Fortunately, support poured in from across the country, including huge corporate grants from Coca-Cola and Walmart, and even ABC's hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition pitched in to lend a hand. Crews broke ground last October to restore the park and build a trib¬ute to the 170,000 volunteers who helped rebuild the city. Today a reflecting pool sits on the site of the original playground, and the swimming pool now features multiple slides and other exciting waterpark-style structures. …

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