Family and friends of the late Larry May, Rolla Chamber Ambassadors, city officials, Park staff and local residents gathered at the Larry May Park Monday, Oct. 16 to re-dedicate and officially open the newly renovated play area. The playground is located just off 18 th Street in Ber Juan Park.

Janet Brown said her father would have been “amazed” at the playground that bears his name. Brown called her father a “very humble fellow,” and brother, Bill May added their father would have been “surprised that they chose to dedicate the park to him.” The playground was originally named for May in 1992 by the city and the local Kiwanis Club to honor May’s years of civic, community and government service in the Rolla community.

Also on hand were members of the Rolla Junior Club, which donated $25,500 to the project. Former
club president Erica Long said the reason for choosing this project over others was simple. “It was a way we could benefit all community kids” instead of just one school or neighborhood. Members felt that their own children, along with kids from all over the area, made good use of the playground while family members played ball at the fields nearby.

“The Rolla Junior Club worked on the Larry May Park project for five years raising $25,500 from our annual Holiday Bazaar every fall, and the three Party for the Parks events,” said Karen Amass, who was the last president of the club. “Each year we held cleanups at the Larry May Park picking up trash, raking leaves, spreading out sand, and pulling weeds. This project had help from lots of members and officers over the years. We were so excited to see the end result, and to be at the park re-dedication with the family.”

Brown and May both thanked the Junior Club for its financial support and Brown said she was proud to have been a past president of the Junior Club. Amass later commented, “The members present Monday night didn’t know Brown had been a Junior Club member and president of the club in 1960. We thought that was another great way we were tied to this park.”

Total cost for the project, including new signage, was just over $93,000 with $67,500 generated by voter approved Proposition P. Larry May Park sports the first of the city’s new parks signage. A move to stone monuments will be replacing the traditional and well-worn wooden signs in the parks system.

The Larry May Park stone sign was designed and set by Rosati Sand & Stone.

“The re-dedication of this park and the new playground is a testament to the collaboration of many
individuals and groups who made this possible,” said Parks and Recreation Director Floyd Jernigan.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the taxpayers of this city, the Rolla Junior Club, the Rolla Kiwanis Club, the Larry May family, our parks staff, and the City Council and city administration. We are proud of the park and its past, present and future role in providing recreation to our citizens.”

Larry May Park is just one of 15 playgrounds maintained by the Rolla Parks & Recreation Department. For more information on Larry May Park or any Park facility, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at (573) 341-2386.