How Southeast Kansas Association of REALTORS® and a Placemaking Grant helped transform Independence

Celebration Park sits on an active corner in the city of Independence. Centrally located, it’s the center spot for all parades, near a major highway, and across from Memorial Hall where several community events are held. Once a vacant convenience store, the area was turned into a pocket park with the help of Southeast Kansas Association of REALTORS®.

After hearing the project needed additional funds, the Southeast Kansas Association of REALTORS® executive board discussed requesting a Placemaking Grant to help with the project – and ultimately were selected to receive the grant.

Celebration Park features a bronze sculpture, “Celebrate Independence,” which consists of youth of various ethnic backgrounds, hands on their hearts saluting the American flag. The community wanted to create a central gathering place to demonstrate diversity and patriotism. Benches and landscaping surround the statue to offer visitors a peaceful retreat.

In addition to the monetary funds donated to the project, a few REALTORS® even stepped in to help with manual labor.

“[…] we wanted to be a part of it and to know that REALTORS® love to give back to the community that supports them,” said Julie Eisele, Southeast Kansas Association of REALTORS® Past President. Annually local boards across Kansas complete community service projects to receive their board recertification.

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