Tonganoxie Boy Scout provides lending library to downtown pocket park
Dakota Falley’s Eagle Scout project, it’s hoped, will encourage community reading for years to come.
Falley, a Tonganoxie High School junior, recently completed his Eagle Scout project in the downtown Tonganoxie pocket park at Fourth and Delaware streets.
His lending library, which is 3 feet high, 2 feet wide and 1 foot deep, is a red box that matches other amenities in the park. People are encouraged to place books in the lending library for others to read on loan. People are welcome to put their own books in the box also. Falley and other volunteers installed the lending library late last week.
Falley said he appreciated the leadership aspect of spearheading the project and guiding fellow Boy Scouts and other volunteers in working on it.
His mother, Gena Falley, estimated it took a combined seven hours to complete the project, which started in December. Gena had spoken with Bill Peak, a former member of the Retail and Commercial Development Committee. RCDC came up with plans for the park, which include two murals by Chillicothe, Mo., muralist Kelly Poling. They’re Poling’s first murals in Kansas.
The Falleys then worked with Keyta Kelly, another RCDC member, in continuing the project.
Kelly said she appreciated Dakota's contribution to the pocket park.
"I feel it helps to complete the park," she said. "It's an enjoyable place to visit and to enjoy the arts in all forms. We are very pleased with the quailty of workmanship Dakota put into this project."
Dakota said he wanted his Eagle Scout project to be utilized often in the pocket park.
“It’s something that will be used by the community, hopefully,” he said.
The lending library is the final addition to the park. The area offers a bench, two picnic tables (one with handicapped accessibility), a water fountain and a trash can. The water fountain offers spouts for pets, handicapped accessibility, standard drinking and a water bottle filling station.
Finally, an information station has been installed. Information about the murals are expected to be included in the case in the coming weeks.
The Falley family has relocated often, with Dakota’s father, Jeff, taking the family various places with his job. Jeff currently works as maintenance director with the Army Reserve Center at 78th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.
When he was working at a job in Phoenix, Dakota’s older brother, Logan, created a dog park as his Eagle Scout project while the family lived in Arizona.
Though the family has been various places, Jeff and Gena, who originally are from the Springfield, Mo., area, hope Tonganoxie will be their final stop.
“We’re all about community,” Jeff said.