The Seaton Family Pavilion in Forest Park is another project initiated by the city’s applying for Kansas Tax Credits, and was constructed in 2008 for outdoor concerts and events. Beginning in 2005, a proposal was written for the tax credits and rejected. However, after reapplying in 2006, the credits were awarded, and businesses and individuals gave generously toward this project. A fund was established at the Foundation, and board members were actively involved in the fundraising.
The city of Parsons arranged for and oversaw the construction, and provided for the concrete work around and into the Pavilion. The summer Concert in the Park series hosted by the city has been greatly enhanced by this addition.
Pictured above is the Lansdowne family stone house, originally built at the turn of the 19th century southwest of Parsons. The property was acquired by the city as an historical home, and interested citizens came together to establish a Farm History Project fund at the Foundation. Beginning in 2003, the house was literally moved stone by stone and reassembled at Tolen Creek, to be viewed as people enjoy the walking trails there, and at special events hosted by the Farm History Center of Southeast Kansas.
The mission of the Farm History Center is to document, preserve, and demonstrate our rural Southeast Kansas farm history and practices, and this project was just the first of many proposed by the Farm History board. For more information, please contact Chuck Spellman at 620-421-5404 or Dan Peterson at 620-784-5646.
Beginning in 2002, nearly $300,000 was pledged by businesses and individuals to support an application to receive state tax credits in order to build a Senior Citizen Center in Parsons. That year the application was denied, but the following year the city and the Community Foundation reapplied, and this time the tax credits were awarded.
A total of $276,000 was raised to construct the Senior Center and Grandview Products donated a kitchen. Today there is a full calendar of events hosted at the Center and it is widely used by seniors, or those accompanying a senior. Donations to offset the daily operations of the Center may be made through the Parsons Area Community Foundation.
In the late 1990’s, the city and concerned citizens determined the need for new playground equipment at Forest Park. Members of the Community Foundation raised $30,000 for this, and the city provided a matching grant. Playground equipment was purchased and installed, but a short time later caught fire and completely burned.
In 2000 a new playground equipment fund was begun, and members of the community rallied to raise more than $60,000 to replace the burned equipment. Not only was the response just short of amazing, there was no one big contributor to this project, but the result of many many smaller donations. This equipment has been a real asset to the park and is enjoyed by many.