By Taylor Powell, Correspondent
There are times when the small-town citizens must come together to make our community a more enjoyable place to live. On Wednesday, Dec. 13, about 46 Belton High students teamed up with the city to clear out Smith Park located in Morgan’s Point Resort. Smith Park was adopted by Belton High School and they want to do their best to clean it out for the community to enjoy. This day is labeled as Purple Heart Service Day and it takes place during the student’s exams. The students take a day dedicated to doing community service work in the area. Each student is a pound volunteer taking time to give back to the community. Smith Park is an area that has not been touched in many years. The park was full of cedar trees and debris and now it is in the process of being turned into something the community can enjoy. The city and the students teamed up to clear out this area with plans of turning it into a trail and a disc golf course. The idea to turn Smith Park into a disc golf course for the community came from City Council member Keith Dyer.
“We came up with the idea of a disc golf course two years ago,” said Dyer, “and we have been working diligently to have that come to fruition.”
This is the second year that Purple Heart Service Day has taken place, and this gives the students a chance to realize the good they are doing for the community. Belton High School is a community-driven school and Dyer is proud of the work the students do each year.
“We tell all our students that giving back to your community is a great joy in life,” said Dyer, “I tell all of our kids every day that if you change the community you change the world.”
Although the work these students are doing seems to be minuscule the park will eventually be something that all can enjoy, love, and have safe friendly fun. The goal that they have set in place is to have the park ready for the latter part of next year.
“We are so proud to see our kids give back to the community. This is something that you don’t get to see many communities, and everyone should be proud to see the dedication of these students,” said Dyer.
Chief Training Officer Taran Vaszocz-Williams explained the importance of fire safety.
“Folks choose to call Morgan’s Point Resort home for many of the same reasons people choose to live in the Texas Hill Country, California, Colorado and New Mexico,” said Williams. “Our vast expanses of forestation and native vegetation. However, from a fire service standpoint, those are the very things that contribute to wildland fire development and growth. MPR Fire and our other city services are dedicated to maintaining the natural beauty of our community, whilst culling some areas within it to achieve a balance between aesthetics and fire safety.”
The work of the students at Belton New Tech at Smith Park will also serve as a future disc golf course, so the community benefits from this even more.
“One of our City Councilman, Keith Dyer, works at Belton New Tech and was instrumental in putting our need together with his students desire to give back to the community in a meaningful way during a recent service day of theirs,” said Williams. “We had around 50 students come out and clear off brush last week. Their efforts made a huge impact in the Roger’s Park area, and left us with a nice swathe of land that remains as beautiful as it is fire protected. The fire breaks they created will serve as a future disc golf course, so it was a win/win effort for our community.”
For more information about community service within the city, please contact 254-780-1334.