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State Honoree

Jacklyn Murray

Iowa

Jacklyn Murray, 17, of Onawa, Iowa, a member of the Iowa State University Monona County 4-H and a junior at West Monona Community High School, designed and co-chaired a project to improve two city parks, and helped raise $83,000 to fund the effort. When Jackie noticed that a local park where she used to play was in dire need of repair and new playground equipment, she suggested that her 4-H club could make it and another neglected park usable again for all citizens, especially children. “The community needed a free, safe and fun place for children to play and families to gather together,” said Jackie, whose work on the project began nearly three years ago. Jackie visited other towns for park ideas, investigated playground equipment, and solicited support and advice from the local park board. To put her plan into action, she recruited local teens to help with fund-raising, sought donations from more than 60 local businesses, and coordinated various fund-raisers including car washes, auctions and garage sales. She also solicited and received numerous grants from national organizations. The parks are now popular places again, and Jackie is planning more fund-raisers to make additional improvements to the park system.