The public is invited to join the city of Hollister, the Hollister Park Board and the Hollister Area Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 5 for the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Hulland Park Gateway and Kayak Park in Hollister.

Hulland Park, a nearly six acre plot of land, was purchased by the city of Hollister in January 2012 for $250,000. The property was previously a housing subdivision with 20 mobile homes before a 2008 flood, during which two were demolished. After two more floods in 2011, nine other homes were demolished. Since the city purchased the property, crews have removed dead trees, underbrush, concrete pads and other discarded materials, according to Branson Tri-Lakes News Archives.

At the beginning of the year, the city began working on several new additions to the park, including a kayak ramp into Turkey Creek.

“We started the project in the early part of this year with just kind of the creation of the ramp itself and the pull off area for the kayaks and the canoes and the parking lot area,” said Hollister Deputy City Administrator Denise Olmstead. “Then we added the picnic pads and the park benches. Then we’ve just been working on, as time permits and funding is available, we continue to add the landscaping.”

Olmstead said, a few months after building the initial ramp into Turkey Creek, they discovered an addition to the ramp would be needed.

“We realized that it wasn’t quite long enough as the level of the water decreased and lowered,” Olmstead said. “So, it’s been about eight months or so that we’ve been working on it to complete it and have it ready to go. And it’s been utilized throughout this time and it’s been very popular for the community already.”

While Hulland Park is already well known as a premiere fishing hole and scenic views of both Lake Taneycomo and Turkey Creek, a few members of the park board and the community thought it would also be a good place for a kayak and canoe launch ramp.

“With the access to Turkey Creek, it allows canoes and kayaks the opportunity to access the water ways a little bit more safely than if they were to just access Taneycomo. So it gives them the opportunity to get in and out of the water without that current that you usually find out there at Lake Taneycomo,” said Olmstead. “We just had this area of Turkey Creek where it seemed like a good place for it and a good fit.”

The additions to Hulland Park also include a new landscaping gateway, which Olmstead said they hope will help people find the park. 

“There’s a lot of people here in the community and in the area that may not even realize that Hulland Park exists, so that gateway feature helps to draw the attention to the park.”

The dedication ceremony on Sept. 5 will take place at 2 p.m. and is open to the public. 

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