MADISONVILLE, KENTUCKY (WEHT)– Mahr Park and city officials gathered Friday April 16, 2021 to unveil a unique addition to a nature play area going in at the park for kids.
“Encourage sensory play. We want them to interact. We want them to smell, we want them to touch things. We’ll have different native plants here. All of the equipment is made of douglas fir wood so it’s very unique,” Mahr Park Director Ashton Robinson said.
Helping make this statue come to life was Dr. Jack Hamman and his family– looking to carry on the Mahr legacy.
“We first saw these in New Mexico some 25-28 years ago and thought they were a delight,” Dr. Hamman said.
But Robinson said the meaning to this goes beyond a play place and a place for a photo-op.
“We really want everyone to know it doesn’t matter where you came from, your background, what color you may be, what ethnic background you come from, that we encourage all walks of life to enter the park, enter the playground, enter the community,” Robinson said.
This paints a picture of inclusion in Western Kentucky- as the debate continues over a different statue in Hopkins County, a confederate statue. Officials said plans are in the works to put in a union soldier next to the statue and are looking at pricing. In Daviess County, officials are looking at voting on removing a confederate statue from where it currently sits. But in Mahr Park, Robinson said the idea with the “Circle of Peace” statue is to spread equality and a deeper meaning for generations to come.
“Children from all generations… it’s just going to effect so many, so just to be here for the beginning of this is just a blessing,” Robinson said.