Friday, May 3, 2013

Gazebo Preserves a Kinder Community Spirit

Have you ever wondered about that seemingly random gazebo on the administrative complex property between the parking lot and Student Services? The following write-up shares some details about its history and upkeep: 

Although it may never be mentioned in conversation, the small pristine white Gazebo on North Walnut Creek Dr. is a subliminal reminder that Mansfield was a quiet, country town when the Women’s Division of the Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce donated the Gazebo to MISD some twenty-three years ago. Whether it be the setting for a wedding, the meeting place for teenagers “cramming” for finals, the pretend castle of a group of youngsters or the backdrop for a family Christmas card the structure beckons any and all passersby to share in its splendor.

“The Gazebo belongs to the community,” said Lucretia Mills, who spearheaded efforts to care for the structure since 1990. “It is something that we can all be proud of.”

In the early years of the life of the Gazebo, Mrs. Mills enlisted the help of the Tarrant County Community Correction Facility which provided female inmates who did the painting, seasonal landscaping and decorating it for the holidays. The trainees took pride in their work at the Gazebo. This was their only opportunity to step off of the premises of the Boot Camp. They enjoyed taking ownership of the project and learned some valuable life lessons from their efforts.

In the past few weeks the gazebo has been given a facelift with a fresh coat of paint by Eagle Scout, Ethan T. Hurdsman of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 215. This was his Eagle Scout project for which he did a superb job. Ethan is a senior at Mansfield Legacy High School and excels in graphic design, 3D design and photography. His plans for college are to attend Tarrant County College the first two years. He was on site Saturday to watch the flower bed being spruced up with spring flowers and a new stone border by Store Managers from area Starbucks stores. Not only did these volunteers give of their time to the Gazebo but also helped with another project for one of our elderly citizens. The volunteers along with Ethan are pictured above.

The Gazebo is now under the supervision of the Keep Mansfield Beautiful Commission of which Mrs. Mills has been a long time member and will continue to oversee the Gazebo under the direction of KMBC and MISD.

Pride is an important factor in Mrs. Mills’ message. If Mansfield is to preserve and maintain the reputation that citizens have a certain “quality of life” complimentary to both small-town hospitality and rapid economic development, Mills said everyone must take responsibility for those efforts.