As if there aren’t enough reasons to come to Mercy Park, where St. John’s Regional Medical Center once stood, now there are several more.

It’s called the Rotary Sculpture Garden.

Right now, there are nine sculptures with another one on the way, but organizers hope there will be many more in the future.

They represent a $200,000 artistic investment by community members who have sought out the works of art, bought them, and then donated them so they can be on permanent display.

“That’s the reason we’re doing this,” explained garden chairman Robert Headlee. “It’s an opportunity for people in our community and people visiting our community to come out and enjoy not only the park, but the sculpture garden, too.”

“Joplin has turned post-tornado time frame very artistic in nature,” added board member Patrick Tuttle with the Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We have a dozen murals in the downtown area now, we have people who travel the country and even from the world just to see the Benton Mural in City Hall. This will become one of those iconic things and the fact that you have this many bronze sculptures in one location, people will come to Joplin just for it.”

“This particular sculpture seems to be a kid magnet, so I’m anticipating it being loved to death in the future,” said sculptor Tim Cherry.