The City of North Platte revitalizing an empty lot of land in the downtown. The area will become a downtown park. The suggested name of the park is the "Keith Blackledge Park. Mr. Blackledge was not only the editor of our newspaper for 25 years he was also a member of rotary until shortly before his death in 2010. This park is also adjacent to the parking lot in which our Rotary clock is installed.
This project has been in the works for several years and the city raising funds for the completion of the park. North Platte Noon Rotary would like to provide trees to the park. In RI President Ian H.S. Riseley's announcement of his presidential theme he challenged every Rotary club to make a difference by planting a tree for each of its members between the start of the Rotary year on 1 July and Earth Day on 22 April 2018. Trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which slows global warming. Although we will not be planting a tree for every member, and it is past the deadline for this year's Earth Day, we believe we can still contribute to the overall message to Rotarians, our "responsibility is not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself."
The Downtown Park plan calls for 7 trees - 3 of those being large shade trees, the other 4 being more ornamental trees. Estimated cost for each tree will be close to $250. These trees will be purchased from local nurseries. Advice on type of tree and placement will be sought from the University of Nebraska tree care experts and City of North Platte Parks Department. They are very knowledgeable on-site selection and species. The needs of the area are closely taken into consideration, including maintenance. The City of North Platte will maintain the park and trees. Rotary club members will work with the city to plant the trees.
The areas this park is located will boost economic vitality, promote a healthy lifestyle through outdoor recreation, and opportunities in developing urban areas and areas of rapid population growth.