Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Recovery efforts to be highlighted during Joplin Tornado second anniversary observance

(From the City of Joplin)

Resilience, Resolve, and Realization is the focus of the second anniversary event planned for May 22 at Cunningham Park. With numerous organizations and groups working diligently for the recovery of Joplin following the 2011 tornado, their efforts will be highlighted in various tents located throughout Cunningham Park.
In addition, the planning committee has announced the program will start at 4:40 p.m. This is a change to the original program time announced in the initial planning of the event. Short presentations emphasizing each area specifically of the Resilience, Resolve and Realization focus have been added to the program, which also will include a moment of silence at 5:41 p.m., the time that the tornado touched down in western limits of Joplin.
Starting at 4 p.m. that day, eleven areas focusing on Resilience, Resolve, and Realization – the characteristics of our citizens that have helped shape the rebuilding of Joplin and Duquesne, will be emphasized under individual tents scattered in the park. Representatives of these areas will also be available to talk with citizens about the recovery work, the progress and plans for the future. The tent areas will be open from 4 to approximately 7 p.m. during the event.
Areas represented during the event in large open tents throughout the park include the Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC), housing, schools, healthcare, trees, trails, volunteers, Ministerial Alliance, arts, an educational and healing garden, and the commercial and business redevelopment with focus on the master plan with Wallace Bajjali. The tents will be scattered among the park grounds allowing people to visit them, as well as the Memorial Fountain and Plaque that commemorates the 161 lives lost due to the tornado, the Volunteer Tribute that recognizes the thousands of people who came to our area to help the community recover, and the playground areas.
Designed as a casual event in the park, this arrangement provides an opportunity to gather with family and friends in the Park for reflective time and/or meet up some friendly faces from organizations that may have provided assistance to families or perhaps those in which citizens served as a volunteer.
“There are numerous areas which provided support and assistance to our citizens,” said City Manager Mark Rohr. “We are thankful for their work and wanted to offer the public a chance to reconnect with them if they would like. In addition, there is a great deal of progress to show from our healthcare establishments, schools, and the overall master plan. All of these will be at the park, and we encourage the public to come out and learn more about all of these.”
Rohr also noted that citizens will want to stop by the Trees tent area to pick up a free tree. Trees are provided by Resource, Conservation and Development Program; Missouri Department of Conservation; Forest ReLeaf, and Silver Dollar City.
The City will provide water to those attending. The public is encouraged to bring picnic type foods for their families to enjoy in the park. This year is geared toward a family picnic type event, and people should bring lawn chairs and/or blankets for their seating.
Parking will be available in outlying neighborhoods, and the public should use caution when walking to the event. Street closures will be temporary, as many neighborhoods are rebuilt in the areas and it is not feasible to have long-term closures. Please watch for future announcements about parking as details are finalized.
“May 22nd will forever be remembered in Joplin, and the spirit of the citizens throughout the recovery has defined us. This anniversary event will acknowledge the work and the essence of Joplin citizens who have been through so much these past two years, but continue to move forward,” said Rohr.

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