Local group helps restore Gunn Park


FORT SCOTT, Ks. — A Southeast Kansas man is taking matters into his own hands — helping a local park return to its glory days, one small step at a time.

Gunn Park in Fort Scott dates back to 1908, and at one time even included a small zoo.

Seth Needham isn’t proposing bringing that back but he says there are plenty of other ways to make the historic facility more family safe and friendly.

Seth Needham with Citizens For Parks Improvements said, “We have the foundation for a great park, we have a good park but I see the potential for it to be great, so it started because coming down here with my sons and just seeing little things that need to be done, so I thought I could either gripe about it or take action, and that’s what I chose to do.”

Just a few weeks ago he decided to start a Facebook campaign called Citizens for Parks Improvements.

Just days after the group formed, they had their first workday at the park, just so existing features like playground equipment could be made usable again.

For the same reason, C.J. Robison pitched in too.

“Power washed this play-scape, and the next thing is going to be sealing it up and building steps and making it safer for little toddlers because I have kids myself so thinking about the things that I would want for my children.”

There are now over 400 individuals and businesses involved in the effort, including one donating gravel for the existing swing set and another to shore up the hazardous retaining wall leading to the play ground.

Robert Uhler, Community Development Director, City of Fort Scott, said, “Restores the history in this old fantastic park we have, makes the equipment usable again for the kids and safe for the kids and really just makes it a spot where the citizens of Fort Scott can come out and enjoy a nice day at the park for the kids.”

Gunn Park alone is 155 acres and is one of seven city parks.

“Small department, we have two guys that handle most of the parks in town and Seth’s group, you know they get 20, 30 people working out here in a day and they can get a lot of work done and then there’s also the cost savings with the volunteer labor it does help the city out quite a bit.”

If you’re interested in helping, follow the link below.


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