Editors note: The original feature did not have photos added, due to technical difficulties.
Two years of planning have come to fruition in the form of a boardwalk structure with seating in Riverside Park, the latest park improvement.
“It’s an overlook for educational purposes,” Jerry Witt, Chairman of the Fort Scott Riverfront Authority, which oversees the development of the park.
The structure has been built near the meeting place of the Marmaton River and Mill Creek, in the northeast section of the park.
In the future the structure will be used to “Teach kids about nature and our heritage,” Witt said. “About Belltown that was there. It was a residential area in years past. Named after Dr. Bell, a prominent doctor.”
Several people and entities have helped put this project in the park.
The structure was designed by Brian Leaders, an architect at the National Park Service.
Lumber was provided by the Westar Green Team.
“The Green Team provided old telephone poles that were milled at the Jeffery Power Plant, St. Mary’s, and from Garnett,” Witt said.
Witt and Allen Warren, another member of the Riverfront Authority board, drove to St. Mary’s to bring back one-half the lumber, then Warren and his wife, Jackie, went to Garnett to pick up the rest of the lumber.
The City of Fort Scott unloaded the lumber off the trailer and also will provide a concrete walk from the trail to the structure.
“Chad Brown (Fort Scott Public Works Director) thought they would pour the concrete this week,” Witt said.
West and Karleskint Construction, Fort Scott, built the structure.
Next for the park:
- A grant has been submitted to Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for a playground for children, with notification this fall of whether it was awarded the $62,000 asked for.
- A grant to Kansas Department of Transportation to move the historic 1902 ornate Long Shoals Bridge, currently located in northeast Bourbon County, to the park. The grant has been submitted with a request of $1, 364,000. Announcement of awards will be this fall.
- The Mercy Hospice Memorial is nearing completion on the south side of the park. Benches will be built and future memorial services will be held there.
Already completed in Riverside Park is a walking trail, pavilion, and River Loop Road.