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Buxton Park: It Grows on You

Categories: Indianola, Warren County
Hukill Memorial Fountain at Buxton Park

Hukill Memorial Fountain at Buxton Park

I grew up just a few blocks from Buxton Park in the 60′s and 70′s, and even played ball with the neighborhood kids in the area that is now filled with beautiful crab apple trees.   To offer that the park has changed since then almost goes without saying.  I remember it as a place to ride my bike on strangely angled, narrow sidewalks with a super spot for playing hide and seek around the pink brick conversation benches where the gazebo now sits.  The only flowers I can remember were in the formal, sunken garden that lies just north of the gazebo.  Over the years, memorial trees, benches and berms have been added, as well as the fountain and gardens south of the gazebo.  And flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.   It’s become a true showcase, one of Indianola’s top attractions.

It’s been fun to see the most recent updates that my energetic colleague, Angie Buchanan, has made at the park with the help of her staff.  Just this summer they have added a new butterfly garden planted exclusively with perennials that attract the insects.  The crew is  in the process of redoing the rose beds, and once those are finished, sidewalks will be added to make those areas and the memorial garden accessible to all.   These updates are included in a plan that was created last year by CDA, a landscape architect firm.  As that plan is implemented over time, the park will become even more of a destination with additional features like public art, a rain garden, grass maze and a second gazebo.  See the plan here.

Starting in 2012, the Indianola Park Friends have sponsored special events on summer Saturday mornings.  From photography in the park, to drawing ideas and bird identification, these gatherings have drawn folks of all ages for an hour of purposeful “park time.”

Earlier this year Angie and I began talking about holding an event to celebrate this wonderful place in the fall, when the flowers are at their peak and the heat of summer is past.   We’ve been finalizing plans  along with the Indianola Park Friends and Simpson College for the past few weeks, and now can announce the details.

The Buxton Park Garden Party will be held Thursday, September 12, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.  The rain date is one week later on Thursday, September 19.  This event is for adults 21 and over, and you will be asked to provide a photo ID when you arrive.

Our local wineries LaVida Loca Winery, Summerset Winery, and Two Saints Winery, will be on hand to give samples and sell wine by the bottle, which you may uncork and enjoy at the park, along with cheese and fruit.    Bob Kling, Linda Mark, Beth McGeough, Paul Philbrook and David Stern and will display their artwork and make it available for purchase.   Signature Strings will provide a touch of elegance, and Susannah Paeper of Portraits by Susannah  will be taking photos and posting them online for you to grab as a memento of the event.  We’ll even have  yard games like croquet and bocci ball available.gardenart

We’re also holding a raffle featuring art and also the re-purposed creations of city horticulturist Angie Buchanan that have been on display at the park this summer.  Three raffle tickets will be included with your admission to the event, and you can purchase more at the party.  You must be present to win raffle items.

Advance tickets for the Buxton Park Garden Party are available in person at the Parks & Recreation office, or by phone at (515) 961-9420 with debit/credit card, or online for $12/person or $20/couple.  You’ll need to already have an account with Parks & Rec to purchase online.    Day of event pricing is $15/person or $25/couple.  Any proceeds will go towards plantings at the new south entrance into the park from Simpson College.

I think it will be a fabulous time to relax and enjoy one of Indianola’s jewels.  Hope to see you there.

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