New park opens on 3rd anniversary of tornado

Pamela Jean, foreground, and Michael Praytor visit a board of quotes in the Cunningham Park butterfly garden in Joplin, Mo., on Thursday, May 22, 2014. Pamela Jean, along with several other citizens, has a quote written on the sign. The butterfly garden opened on the anniversary of the 2011 Joplin tornado, and features several tributes to the spirit of the city following the disaster. (AP Photo/The Joplin Globe, Roger Nomer)

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) – A new park in Joplin is designed to offer a healing spot for those who survived the May 2011 tornado that devastated the city and killed 161 people.

The Resilience Butterfly Garden and Overlook opened Thursday at Cunningham Park during the half hour that the tornado hit Joplin three years ago.

The garden and overlook were designed by Drury architecture students. It re-creates the outline of three homes that were destroyed by the tornado, and incorporates a pavilion, water features, storyboards and benches.

The dedication also completed the rebuilding for the three Joplin parks – Cunningham, Parr Hill and Garvin – that were damaged or destroyed by the tornado.

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