Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the person who donated the cogs. Mike Lewis provided the cogs. InkFreeNews regrets the error.
By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – Members of the Warsaw Rotary Club and the public geared up Friday, Sept. 25, to dedicate the city’s newest park, Rotary Park, near Boggs Edition.
A noon-time ribbon cutting with various community leaders marked the end of a five-year effort supported by numerous groups in establishing the park, said Warsaw Rotary President Bruce Woodward, who addressed two dozen people gathered to commemorate the moment.
The triangular park is located where West Market and Center Streets intersect just east of Boggs Edition.
The park features a climbing stone, a large circular pavilion that holds six picnic tables comfortably and is highlighted with two massive leaning cogs that were previously owned by Mike Gill.
There is also a water fountain that can accommodate dogs and a bike rack. Eventually, there will be a bike station there since it is located along a bike path.
The gears are a symbol of the Rotary Club, which recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary.
They also serve as a nod of recognition to the city’s manufacturing history.
Ken Locke, a Rotarian, had seen the gears many times before and eventually asked Mike Lewis, owner of Lewis Salvage, if one could be used for the park.
Lewis then decided to provide a pair of cogs.
Lewis said he’d been holding on to the gears for about 30 years.
The park was designed by Senior City Planner Justin Taylor, who is also a Rotarian.
The parks department constructed the shelter. The street department constructed curved concrete pathways.
Not including in-kind labor from the city, the project cost about $100,000.
Rotary Club relied on a series of grants and sold commemorative bricks to pay for the project.
It’s a great thing overall,” Taylor said. “It’s another project where different community groups were able to come together and make happen. Adding a new park to the city parks department isn’t something that happens every day. It involved a lot of community members.”
The entities that supported the park include:
- The owners of Rabb Water Systems & Times-Union Newspaper for making the ground available
- Mike and Rita Lewis of Lewis Salvage for donating the gears
- Reicher and Knepp Towing for setting the roof of the Pavillion
- Juergen and Betsy Voss of Open Air Garden Center & Greenhouses
- Chris Harrison of Indiana American Water for his creation and continued fundraising for the bicycle fixation stations and water fountain
- K21 Foundation – $20,000 grant
- Kosciusko County Convention Recreation and Visitors Commission – $20,000 grant
- Kosciusko Community Foundation for their donations
- Kosciusko County Master Gardener Association
- The city’s parks, street and public works departments
Woodward also acknowledged past Rotary Presidents Deanna Muraski, Woody Zimmerman, Chris Harrison, Chad Miner “and especially Justin Taylor for his vision and design of the finished product.”