A donation from Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union has kickstarted an effort to repair damage to a popular Kokomo park. The $29,000 gift will establish the "Rebuild Highland Park" fund, which will collect donations to plant trees and repair and replace playgrounds damaged by last month’s tornadoes in Kokomo.
The city says Highland Park will be re-forested with 16 varieties of trees native to the area. Work will also be done to repair to a wheelchair-accessible, ADA-compliant playground, which was damaged by the storms.
"It is important that we work to re-forest and replace trees that were damaged by the tornado," said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. "Highland Park was devastated by the storms with trees uprooted and playgrounds destroyed. We need to remember that our parks don’t belong to us but to our children and grandchildren. In addition to planting trees, the ADA-compliant playground will be integrated into rest of the park and will be even more accessible for park-goers. Each tree planted and each playground rebuilt will remind us that the work we do today will be treasured by the residents of tomorrow."
Diana Tenbrook, vice president of marketing for Solidarity, says they had been raising money internally without a determined recipient. After the tornadoes hit, she says the bank wanted to use that money to help rebuild what it views as a "historical area of great importance" to the city.