Veterans Memorial Part of Purdy Park Plan

Construction on a new community garden in Purdy is proceeding and now includes plans for the first memorial to that community’s veterans.

The garden, located between Washington and Highway C east of City Hall, has been under construction by Ed Mareth’s Genesis Project since last year. A gazebo has been placed near its center with a large sitting area around it. Mareth said the space is designed for entertainment and has been wired for sound.

Work is continuing on a water system running through the garden, which will have six waterfalls in it. Aaron Bolin, project manager for the garden, said the original construction for the waterfall proved unstable and a second contractor is now rebuilding and completing the undertaking.

The water system will have several walkways over it, a place for fish, surrounded by landscaping and flower gardens. Sculpted eagles will be placed in several locations. Large lamp posts wih decorative globes, similar to those in downtown Joplin, will be placed throughout the garden.

Close to the center of the garden will be a memorial to Purdy residents who have served in the Armed Forces. Bolin is modeling the memorial after one in Greenfield for residents of Dade County.

The memorial will be built out of rock with a dedication stone in the center. Two glass cases will stand at the center to hold the names.

Part of the challenge in constructing a memorial of this type comes from having no list of Purdy veterans. A public appeal is being made for any information on residents who have served in the Armed Forces in any national conflict.

Chelsea Egan, the office manager for Project Genesis, is accepting names and documentation from families and local organizations. Details can be taken to Egan at 200 Washington, across from the Purdy Post Office, during weekday business hours. For more information, call 417-522-0023.

Mareth said plans for the community garden may expand over time. He praised the community for the support that has been shown for the Genesis Project in its various undertakings.

Work on the garden will move ahead rapidly and should show significant changes in the next two weeks, Bolin said. He hopes to complete the veterans memorial by the end of May and open the garden for public use this summer.

Originally printed by the Monett Times and used by permission (

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