Friends Of Dornwood Plan To Revitalize Park

By: Suzie Gilbert Email
By: Suzie Gilbert Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Shawnee County groups are working to bring their memories of Southeast Topeka's Dornwood Park, back to life.

Commissioners on Monday (5/7) approved a partnership between the Friends of Dornwood neighborhood coalition, and the Chawnee County Parks and Recreation Foundation.

The endeavor started at one of the first listening tours held by the Parks and Rec Advisory Board.

Neighbors and community groups came together - hoping to restore the Dornwood baseball diamonds, and nature trail to what they once were.

The park encompasses 111 acres off SE 25th Street, east of California. The land, from ball parks to nature trails, was formerly owned by Shawnee County, the Highland Park Baseball Association, and Topeka Public Schools.

The land is all being transferred to the county now. They'll be responsible for the park's maintenance, but they have a whole team of help. A slew of community groups and former Dornwood-goers formed a group called 'Friends of Dornwood."

They're spearheading efforts to clear overgrown honeysuckle, fix the lighting on the ball diamonds, and restore the park to what they remember, a place where residents can walk, birdwatch, and enjoy once again.

Parks and Recreation Director John Knight says the only county money used will go to repair ball diamond lighting. A $50-thousand dollar wiring project will soon get underway, and should be completed in about two weeks.


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