NEVADA, Mo. — A local community foundation has announced its first big project.

This $1 million project is designed to ultimately promote the general wellness of Vernon County.

The Nevada and Vernon County Community Foundation was founded two years ago and already has big plans.

“And our mission is to make Nevada and Vernon County a stronger community. We listed things in the community that were needed and this was one project that we felt would be very beneficial so we could partner with the City and with the Nevada R-5 school district to provide some facilities that everyone could benefit from,” said Greg Hoffman, President, Nevada/Vernon County Community Foundation.

Walton Park will have 4 tennis courts and 2 basketball courts with perimeter seating and lighting. It will be built on an empty lot on the corner of West Hunter and North Main Street.

That park will have 10 pickleball courts, 3 of which will have extra space for wheelchair accessibility.

About half of Nevada’s population lives within walking distance of these facilities.

“I think that it definitely even goes beyond just our youth in Vernon County with this project because the pickleball courts are situated in an area close to the senior center, close to the community center, and I think that as we all now know that pickleball is a sport that transcends any generation,” said Amy Bishop, Coordinator, Nevada/Vernon County Community Foundation.

Both parks are set to be completed by fall of next year.

“The investment itself is going to be very, you know, that’s a very sizable investment. A million dollars, you know, being brought into the community by the community, that investment is huge. And I think that the show-casing of what we can do will also help attract new businesses to our downtown. I can show industries, this is what our community is capable of, you know, we have the proof that we get behind projects like this and we’re willing to support quality of life initiatives,” said Ben Vickers, Director, Vernon County Economic Development.