City plants 15 trees at Moneta Sleet Jr. Park for Arbor Day

April 30, 2022 | 12:08 am

Updated April 29, 2022 | 9:50 pm

Photo by Josh Kelly

To celebrate Arbor Day, the City of Owensboro planted 15 trees at the Moneta Sleet Jr. Park, formerly known as Max Rhoads Park.

Adam Wright, Grounds Manager for the City, said officials had been planning to complete projects to beautify areas and parks that have previously been put on the backburner. When it came to the name change of the park and the holiday, they thought this was the perfect time for Moneta Sleet Jr. Park to receive an update.

The plan for the park is to help raise the curb appeal and also give families a place to go as an alternative to other parks like Legion and Moreland.

“We decided that we would do the Crepe Myrtle trees because around late June/early July, they start to get really large and bright blooms,” Wright said. “It would draw attention to the park.”

Northwest Alliance Neighborhood Chair Rafe Buckner said that the attention that the park is receiving is a great kickoff for the plans they are putting in motion.

This was the first event for the park under the new name.

“It feels wonderful and amazing that (Sleet) is being honored like this because I think it’s past due,” Buckner said.

Buckner said renaming the park after Sleet was one only possible due to the Rhoads family being willing, but said it’s also fitting as he thinks Sleet is the most prominent person to come from Owensboro with international acclaim.

Buckner believes more work can still be done to make the park an attraction for the community, including some additions to the playground, basketball court renovations, and other projects.

He plans to host some programming to get people in the park and active throughout the community.

“It should be a place that you’d come out here and throw a blanket down,” Buckner said. “Maybe read a book and let your kids play. There’s not a lot of traffic here so it’s in a great spot.”

April 30, 2022 | 12:08 am

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