MEDICINE PARK — Residents and visitors to Medicine Park will soon be able to enjoy a new playground, a new stage, a wedding venue, a kayak-launching dock and other improvements to Hitchin’ Post Park, town officials said in a news release.
The creekside park, a gift from Candace and David McCoy to the Medicine Park Economic Development Authority, is undergoing more than a face-lift.
“We are so grateful to the McCoys for generously giving us the Hitchin’ Post Park property and the Bath Lake property,” said Jean Schucker, chairman of the MPEDA board of trustees. “During this last year, we spent a lot of time pondering how to make improvements in our properties that bring so many visitors to Medicine Park. We had significant income from Bath Lake swimming fees, and we looked around to see what we could do to improve the quality of life there and at our other property down the street.”
The first improvement on the list was bathrooms at the swimming hole at Bath Lake, according to the news release.
“We took the plunge,” Schucker said. “We wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all the swimmers who funded our account until we had enough saved to plan, design and build ADA-compliant, beautiful bathrooms.”
The bathrooms are now awaiting final bids for construction.
The next step was to seek funding partners from surrounding foundations, sponsors and banks to expand the development of the other park down the street.
“Our grant request to The Cotton Electric Foundation for playground equipment was our first success,” Schucker said. The giant check will be presented at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Hitchin’ Post Park, and everyone is invited.
Site engineering and final designs are underway, and funding partners are stepping up to make a safe, fun space for children and grown-ups to play, fish, picnic, listen to great music and participate in arts and theater events, Schucker said.
“Just like at Bath Lake, we will have ADA-compliant bathrooms, and a really neat ADA-compliant kayak launching dock,” she said. “Vendor spots with electricity and water are also on the drawing board.”
MPEDA Trustee Shawn Bryans said he is excited about the upcoming improvements, and a retired educator and business owner.
“This cool little town loves to celebrate music and the arts,” said Bryans, a retired educator and business owner. “MPEDA owns some awesome real estate that is scattered along Medicine Creek. We want the community and guests to have clean restrooms, a stage to showcase the talent and nice amenities that will complement the beauty of Medicine Park.”
Schucker and her grant-writing team are working to reach out to other funding partners.
“We recently received a construction line of credit from Liberty National Bank,” she said. “We are submitting a grant to the McMahon Foundation, and we are seeking future funding partners in the area.”