Butterfly Garden and Overlook, Cunningham Park, Joplin, Missouri
The Butterfly Garden and Overlook is an Open Spaces and Sacred Places Garden funded by the TKF Foundation. The grant helps communities and individuals recover after tragedy through the design of open spaces. The Landscapes of Resilience: Butterfly Garden and Overlook was created in response to an EF-5 Tornado that destroyed Cunningham Park and Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011. The Park is the result of a trans-disciplinary team consisting of Drury Professors and Students, Cornell University, USDA Forest Service, City of Joplin Parks and Recreation, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, landscape architects, TILL Design in Newark, New Jersey and Great River Associates in Springfield, Missouri.
Cunningham Park, considered “Ground Zero” in Joplin for the EF-5 Tornado on May 22, 2011, has become a sacred place to the community. On the first anniversary of the storm, the park was the destination for the 10,000 people that walked in the six mile “Walk of unity” and the Memorial Ceremony. 1,200-1,500 people in a single day have been known to visit the park, thus turning it into a destination park. The Overlook is a place for the survivors and visitors to sit, reflect, heal, and learn. The Overlook with its educational boards tells the story for generations to come; and the Butterfly Gardens with their four quiet, sacred spaces provides the community of Joplin a healing place within nature.