|The city of Joplin's Parr Hill Park restoration is one of six projects in Missouri that will receive assistance from the National Park Service under the agency's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program. The announcement was made by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today (Jan. 12, 2012).
The project goal at Parr Hill is to reconstruct the 3.3 acres that were significantly damaged by the May 22, 2011 tornado. It includes re-vegetation of the park to increase natural water filtration, create a wildlife habitat including the replacement of over 100 mature trees lost in the tornado and improve outdoor recreational opportunities. The role of RTCA will be to provide assistance with the review of park reconstruction plans, identify funding opportunities and partner with public outreach and engagement. Rebuilding parks and trails was seen as a priority by Joplin residents who participated in public input sessions held after the tornado.
Other projects in Missouri selected for assistance include extension of the Forest Lake Area Trail System near Kirksville, improvement of the Mississippi River Trail in various communities, restoration of Wears Creek and a trail that would link Jefferson City to the Katy Trail, creation of the Ava nature trail and partnering with the Show-Me Missouri Backcountry Horsemen in creating Ozark National Scenic Riverways equestrian access. For a map by state of the more than 200 projects proposed nationally go here.