St. Boni Lions lead park development

By Lorrie Ham

Members of the St. Boni Lions Club gathered at the newly named St. Boni Memorial Park for the planting of a new city Christmas tree in May. (submitted photo)

The St. Boni Lions Club is leading the development of city-owned parkland adjacent to the city hall and community center. At a recent meeting, the St. Boni City Council approved the Lions’ suggested name of St. Bonifacius Memorial Park. A groundbreaking ceremony on May 9 marked the planting of a city Christmas tree. The parkland on both the north and south sides of the city hall will be known as the St. Bonifacius Memorial Park per the council’s action.

“It’s great that community organizations like the Lions take such pride in their local parks,” St. Boni Mayor Shawn Ruotsinoja said. “The city and its citizens appreciate all that the Lions do for St. Boni and we all look forward to the park’s improvements over the next several months.”

According to St. Boni Lions President Kim Sorensen, this project stemmed from the club’s desire to complete a Legacy project for Lions International’s centennial year. When the club was not able to secure a grant to complete the park on its own, it sought help from other service groups in the area, who were happy to be a part of the project. The St. Boni Legion, Sportsman’s Club and Westonka Area Jaycees have already made commitments, while other local organizations are still considering their participation.

“The St Boni Lions wanted to make this a beautiful park since it is at the entrance to town,” Sorensen said. “People coming into town from the east will see this park and want to stop.”

The St. Boni Lions donated the tree and installation, which was provided by Superior Expressions of St. Boni, who also donated the design work for the park as a whole. According to Sorensen, the St. Boni Legion will be responsible for a new patio area while the Sportsman’s Club has committed funds for a rain garden. The Lions plan to contribute a tree and a concrete bench in memory of former members who have passed away. Once the memorials are installed, a dedication ceremony for the families will be held this fall.

Other possible features include a gazebo or pergola, a paved brick walkway and other trees and plantings. Plans call for repairs and an upgrade to the existing Don Logelin Memorial Shelter on the opposite side of the city hall building. Projects will be completed as funding becomes available.
Once a design has been approved, a new park sign will be posted, Sorensen said.