Our View

Take a hike; you’ll like it.

The next time you get an opportunity, walk through Joplin’s Mercy Park and notice the Rotary Sculpture Garden. Nine sculptures have been installed along the walking trail. They look great, and more sculptures will eventually join them.

The work was scheduled to take three days, but the group of workers from the National Sculptors’ Guild managed to install them all Monday.

The project is a joint effort of Joplin Rotary Club and Joplin Daybreak Rotary Club and the sculptures are all donated. One was donated by Sharon and Lance Beshore, one by Barbara and Jim Hicklin, and seven by Harry M. Cornell Jr., an art collector and chairman emeritus of Leggett & Platt Inc. We look forward to future additions.

Thank you to the donors, the Rotary clubs and the installation crew. The works of art make walking the park a deeper experience for Joplin residents and visitors.

So, take a hike.

Health grants

Funding presented to an area health organization will put smiles on residents’ faces.

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas on Wednesday was awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration to expand dental services and oral health care to residents in Southeast Kansas.

The same federal agency recently announced a $650,000 grant to CHC/SEK to open a clinic in Miami, Oklahoma, and a school-based health center in Wyandotte, Oklahoma.

The funding will provide residents of Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma with better access to health care in time for the new year.

And that is something to smile about.

Monarchs on move

As fall closes in, monarch butterflies are moving through our area on their annual migration to Mexico, where the species overwinters.

Today the Missouri Department of Conservation will celebrate the flittering fliers at the Monarch Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center, 201 Riviera Drive.

The family event will offer visitors the opportunity to see caterpillars and butterflies, participate in a science project to catch and tag butterflies, play games, go on a butterfly scavenger hunt and make a monarch headband.

It is a great opportunity to learn about monarchs — under consideration for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act — and to learn how your family can help to provide food and habitat for the butterflies.

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