April 9, 2009

Heritage Park needs help to survive

Heritage Park needs help to survive
Since the early 70s, a group of dedicated volunteers have worked to develop, improve and maintain a small museum “village” in southwest Garrison.
“How do we keep it open?” Or do we keep it open? How can we keep it going … do we close?”
Geniece Holst, a long-time member of the Heritage Park Foundation, posed those questions during Monday’s meeting of the Garrison Chamber of Commerce.
Holst, along with fellow foundation members Harold and Agnes Lindsey, attended the meeting to garner support for the park. And, when Holst addressed the group, she didn’t mince words.
Citing a long-standing concern – dwindling numbers and aging members – Holst noted that three members, “living history books,” had passed away during the past year. To prove her point, Holst described her own duties; she is serving as the foundation’s president, secretary and treasurer.
“Our group is getting smaller and smaller and smaller … we are really in need of help – monetary and muscles.”
Holst explained that the park includes seven historically significant buildings; they include a railroad depot, a church, a telephone office, a schoolhouse, a cabin and two homes. “They all need to be taken care of,” Holst said. In addition, all buildings need to be cleaned if the Heritage Park is to be open for the 2009 season. Holst said buildings also need to be painted and two need new shingles due to a 2008 hailstorm.
“That’s our history … what happens if we need to close? We need your help and we don’t know what to ask for,” Holst explained.
Bruce Schreiner, chamber president, promised that the matter would be discussed at an upcoming Executive Committee meeting.
Three other guests attended the meeting and were given “First Dollar of Profit” plaques for their new businesses. Curits Moe accepted a plaque for his business, Garrison Furnace & Stove Co.
Jim and Sue Schlehr were also welcomed to the business community as owners of Schlehr Utility Construction.

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