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Park improvements will include new bathrooms

Improvements to Santa Fe Park in downtown Peabody continue to move forward. A generous donation by Ruth (Mathias) Orpin, Peabody High School class of 1964, paid for initial landscaping improvements to the park in honor of her parents, Ross and Margaret Mathias. She also donated a concrete bench in memory of Mike Woodruff.

Partners of Peabody Parks (POPPs) — a group of volunteers who donate time, money, and sweat equity to keep Peabody’s green spaces looking good — has added plantings and grooming to the little park where the Santa Fe Depot once stood.

Three years ago, Peabody Main Street joined the POPPs group in the downtown effort to develop Santa Fe Park. The two groups hosted the first Sleepy Creek Concert Series to begin raising money to build a bathroom at the park.

“With more events taking place in the downtown area and improvements moving forward in the park itself, it seemed only logical to install a public restroom in the park,” POPPs organizer Tom Schmidt said.

The Sleepy Creek Concert series brings musical entertainment to downtown the last Sunday evening of every month. A light meal is served with cost by donation. Musical groups have included pop, country, bluegrass, gospel, and even some homegrown talent such as Herschel Stroud (PHS 1948) and his barbershop quartet, the Rip Chords.

An architectural drawing was commissioned by PMSA this spring from local architect Arlen Gfeller (PHS 1979) and will be used as a promotional tool to advertise the growth of the Santa Fe Park fund.

Concerts are scheduled again for the last Sunday evening June through September. The concerts are free and the public is encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Shane Marler, executive director of Peabody Main Street, at (620) 983-2113.

Last modified May 18, 2011

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