KPB members at the park dedication Saturday: Back row (l-r) Al Rothe, Mary Ann Rentz, Codi Van Atta, Gloria Proudfoot, Ron Jager; front row Stan Barnett, Carol Opdenhoff, Vered Kleinberger.
Members of Keep Pickens Beautiful dedicated their Memorial and Honorary Garden, located in Lee Newton Park, Saturday.
With perfect weather, members gathered at the center of the area with natural stones and marble benches to look over the work of more than a decade to improve the former grassy field at the park. The KPB Memorial Park is adjacent to the Chamber of Commerce building, across the stream from the main field of Lee Newton Park.
The park sits beside the trickling stream (now extremely low in the drought) and against the woods at the rear of the park. Over the past decade members of KPB, as well as city workers and Boy Scouts have added different plaques, birdhouses, fences and two pergolas.
Mary Ann Rentz, a longtime KPB member, said they have had a vision of this park for many years. She commended former KPB president Vered Kleinberger and Ben Jones from Whitestone Farms for the design and taking the lead on the project. Hemlocks Landscaping did the installation work.
“It looks pretty good,” Rentz said. “It was nothing when we started.”
KPB honored three people (all now deceased) with plaques in the memorial park at the ceremony Saturday, though other plaques are there and additional plaques may be placed for donors.
First, Kathryn Downs who Rentz said was the “first person [here] interested in recycling.” She served on the KPB board from 2001 to 2007.
Second, Maxine Moore who was at the meeting in 1989 where CCC (the group that later became KPB) was organized. She was a lifetime member of KPB and instrumental in creating the Green Thumb and Green Ribbon awards that recognize local businesses and homeowners.
Third, Kevin Osborne, a longtime president and executive director of KPB.
Speaking about the mixture of large rocks and benches, Kleinberger said she and Ben Jones had designed it to mix the natural and functional and hope that the public will sit there and enjoy the landscape. It could used for meetings as well.
She said the next work may be to address the clogged creek, possibly adding natural vegetation to the banks.