Plans are moving forward to construct a new park at the Waxahachie Senior Center.

The park will be dedicated to the memory of community leaders of Marcus and Renda Hickerson

“We are excited to announce that in the process of expanding our community garden area to accommodate our increasing membership. We are going to encompass our gardens with a beautiful park, a walking trail and a pavilion with arbors,” center Director Jeanee Smiles said. “We will be selling park benches for families if they would like to dedicate a park bench to a lost loved one or just to have a family name on one. That will be one of the ways we raise money to pay for this park area. We will be looking for private donations and some members will be donating their time for the labor.”

Smiles said the park would extend the existing walking trail from a quarter of a mile to half of a mile. The trail would go from the south side of the senior center and would end on the north side.

Developer Ken Mitchell donated additional land to the center, which will allow for the expansion of the garden area and park.

The garden will feature 24 36-inch raised beds and 36 regular 12-inch raised beds. The 36-inch raised beds allow center members who are handicapped or physically challenged to enjoy gardening. Volunteers have already constructed 12 of the raised beds that will be installed in the new park.

One of the items needed to complete the raised garden beds are plastic jugs or bottles. Bottles and jugs will be flatted out so that the soil level will be raised in the beds to 36 inches. The non-biodegradable plastic provides a foundation on which dirt can be placed. People who donate these jugs or bottles are asked to rinse them out before hand because they will be placed into storage for a while.  

The park will be located at the north end of the building and will be named the Hickerson Memorial Gardens and Park. Grasses and plants native to Texas will be used in the garden.

“The park area will be built first with the walking path. The new water lines will be laid for the water fountains and the new garden area. Construction will begin immediately,” Smiles said.

We are looking to add a butterfly garden, probably on the west side. This will not only attract butterflies and bees to pollinate our flowers but will serve as an educational area for some of our schools.”

Smiles said a pavilion would be placed in the middle of the garden area. The park will feature a memorial walk where people can purchase brick pavers to honor a loved one.

Smiles wants to thank Ken Mitchel, owner of Country Lane Senior apartments located behind the center, who donated 10 feet of land that will help complete the park. She also wants to thank the Senior Center Advisory Board for its support.

The new park is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31.

To make donations or get more information, contact Smiles at 469-309-4280. The center has been set up as a non-profit organization so that all donations are tax deductible. The center is located at 122 Park Hills Drive in Waxahachie.

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