JOPLIN, Mo. — What used to be a little ball field is in the process of becoming a nature village.
The Wildcat Glades Friends group have been in the planning, fundraising and construction phase of creating Wildcat Glades Village.
It’s just West of the Department of Conservation Nature Center on what used to be a little league ball park.
Existing bathrooms and concession stand have been repaired and repainted.
The Eagle’s Nest children’s play area has been moved into the village and has been expanded.
And construction on a new building, the education cottage, could be finished as early as next month.
Lauren Copple, Naturalist Program Coordinator, Wildcat Glades Friends Group, said, “That’s a project we got a grant from Missouri American Water, and the total cost on the building is about $62,000 and the outside of that including the sidewalks and building is debt free.”
To keep costs down on the structure, a host of area contractors including Fagan Electric, Olson Engineering and SMC Electric have made contributions.
“We are looking to put in an ephemeral pond out there just to just to do some educational stuff around that, and one of my goals and something I would like to see is a boardwalk that kind of goes from the building to the pound so you can kind of get up and out of the grass.”
Behind the cottage is an area that Copple says has a host of possibilities for classes such as archery, ropes and knots classes, a slack line, and possibly even hammocks for relaxing.
“We’ve added some raised gardens so we can do some educational programs, kind of getting ready to put in a cave type deal that you can kind of crawl through and walk through um for the kids.”
To help make all these projects a reality, the group could use more donations.