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Community is asked to show its love for their park

Constitution Park spring clean-up happens this week, public invited to help

If you love Constitution Square Historic Site, the Convention and Visitors Bureau would love for you to join them Friday afternoon for its “Love Our Park” clean-up event.

Jamee Peyton, director of the Boyle County Visitors Center, said everyone who enjoys the historic park in the middle of downtown is invited to put on a pair of work gloves, grab a garden shovel or dust rag and help the park with its spring cleaning, happening from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday

Tourist season begins this month, so it’s time to spruce up the area.

“It’s a cool part of Danville,” said Jennifer Kirchner, executive director of the CVB, and they want to make it ready for visitors.

Also working on Friday afternoon will be students and parents from Danville Montessori School, who will plant flower beds with 200 bulbs and plants they have donated to the park as part of their service project. A local Young Explorers group, community leaders and elected officials are also pitching in during the 3-hour project, Kirchner said.

She hopes the public takes pride in the park and the city, and that the spring clean-up event will be “warm and inviting.” Light refreshments will be available for all of the community workers who come to help.

(Photo by Robin Hart) Old leaves blew into the display jail at Constitution Square during the fall and winter.

Kirchner is looking forward to watching the community unite for this spring cleaning task at the unique park because they appreciate the space. “It belongs to the community,” she said.

As the Montessori group works in flowerbeds, Kirchner said other volunteers will be cleaning out the log cabins.

They’re full of dust and cobwebs right now, she said. Brown leaves that blew inside during the winter and gathered in corners need to be swept away. And smeared fingerprints mixed with grime have to be wiped off the large windows that separate visitors from the displays.

The “Love Our Park” event is just the first of several improvements planned for Constitution Square, Kirchner said.

The park’s two brick and board entrance signs will be updated sometime this summer, Kirchner said. And ideas for fresh landscaping around the Governors Circle are being researched. She said they want to consider vegetation that is easy to maintain and is affordable.

At some point, Kirchner said she is going to propose to Boyle Fiscal Court to consider ways the park could be made into a more educational and interpretive area. This may even include taking down the large glass walls, she said. 

“Right now they’re not really protecting anything valuable,” she said.

Several years ago, when the state handed over ownership of the park to Boyle County, the most valuable artifacts were dispersed to other historical agencies, Kirchner said. “Right now, it’s not a cohesive exhibit.” 

She thinks the barrier glass walls “inhibit the feel and experience” of what it was like for Danville’s residents in the late 1700s.

“We need to rethink the whole space,” and figure a way for the buildings to be more interactive and enjoyable for the public, Kirchner said.

The challenge will also be to find exhibits that are environmentally stable in all sorts of weather because the cabins are not heated nor cooled, Kirchner said.

In the meantime, the CVB is in the process of planning its 2018-2019 budget needs. Kirchner said they area considering their impact on the park and how they can “try and do more than what we already do. The park is an anchor for the heritage of our community.”

And since Constitution Square was where Kentucky’s Constitution was born more than 225 years ago, “We hope everybody cares about it as much as we do. There’s only one birthplace of Kentucky,” and that’s right here in Danville at Constitution Square, Kirchner said.

 

SO YOU KNOW

Constitution Square Historic Site “Love Our Park” spring clean-up event is 3:30-6:30 p.m. Friday. The public is invited to come and help spruce up the park. Bring work gloves or a garden spade would be helpful. Light refreshments will be offered.