Community Celebrates 40 Years of Helper Senior Citizens Park

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Forty years after a troop of girl scouts opened the Helper Senior Citizens Park on the city’s main street, members of the community, girl scouts, scout leaders and elected officials gathered at the park for a dedication on Saturday.

In the 70’s, Girl Scout Cadette Troop 555, consisting of 39 girls, envisioned a place for senior citizens of Helper to rest and enjoy their day. An empty lot on Helper Main Street sparked the idea for the park. On April 20, 1973, girl scouts broke ground at the park, located next to the post office in Helper.

For two years, scouts gathered donations while weeding, removing stumps, raking and planting the empty lot. On Arbor Day of 1973, Troop 555 planted the park’s first tree. In June 1975, the scouts completed the park.

Troop 555’s project in the park earned the girls district and state awards from the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah State University, the Utah Association of the Garden Club, the Utah Association of the Nurserymen and the Golden Spade award. Many girls also earned the distinction of First Class Girl Scout, the highest ranking honor attainable.

“I am really touched that the girls got back together and touched that they remember this as a good experience,” former Troop 555 leader Glenda Gibson said.

During Saturday’s event, those in attendance were treated to a history lesson regarding the park as well as a speech from Janet Frasier, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Utah. Then, the Matt Warner Chapter 1900 of E Clampus Vitus (the Clampers) dedicated a plaque at the park. Also at the event, a memorial tree planting took place in memory of Kristina Gibson Maxfield and Babett Ticker McKinnon.

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