Locals come together to repair Flagler Park

OKEECHOBEE — Ahead of the Memorial Day ceremony held in Flagler Park, local residents and businesses made an effort to revitalize the area that sits in the heart of downtown Okeechobee.

The discussions of giving the park a much-needed face lift first started shortly after the tank located in the park was removed to be cleaned and repainted.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
City Administrator Marcos Montes De Oca speaks at the Memorial Day ceremony on May 27.

“We started by having the tank nice and clean,” said Okeechobee City Administrator Marcos Montes De Oca. “Then we had the efforts of all those to get the helicopter clean as well. The city has had the objective of making the downtown an area of pride for the people and an area that would make others want to visit. All that really pushed everyone to do more. I was happy to be part of it and help get everyone together and make the park look great.”

The helicopter in Flagler Park was vandalized only a week before the Memorial Day ceremony. Graffiti had been drawn on the vehicle sometime late May 18 or early May 19. Local veterans Gregg Maynard and John Ashby worked together to repair the damage which was estimated at $300.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Marcos Montes De Oca
The newly painted tank is on display along with fresh landscaping and mulch.

If you’ve driven by the park at night you may have noticed some new red, white and blue lights along the walkway behind the stone plaques bearing the names of those who died serving this country. Those lights were installed by Johnny Ray at Home Front Security and Sound who donated the lights as well as his time installing them.

José Manual Cisenors from JMC Landscaping donated 102 plants and installed all the plants all throughout the park while Scott Duran at SDI Landscaping donated 50 plants in addition. The city of Okeechobee’s public works department fixed irrigation and worked on all borders and mulching.

Others that helped out include Brianna Kukulka, Zack Mullin, Julie Ray, Justin Ray, TJ Tarner, Amanda Tarner, Wayne Chaney, Kaiden Tarner, Kyle Tarner, Judd Ray, Dale Byrd, Randy Byrd, Randy Salas, Jose Baltazar, Jumbo Kemp and Marvin Plummer.

“I was just an instigator and organizer on this,” continued Mr. Montes De Oca. “I wish I could of done more. I was happy and humbled by those that came out and made it happen.”

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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