The ribbon has been cut on the $1.5 million Maplewood Commons Park, the latest in the Sulphur Parks and Recreation (SPAR) family.

Local dignitaries, political leaders, business and civic leaders and citizens turned out at Maplewood Commons Tuesday morning to officially open the park and to speak about its derivation as well as its appealing aesthetics.

“The community of Maplewood was designed for families of Cities Service Refinery back in the 1940s and this park is also designed for the enjoyment of our families today,” SPAR board member Mitch Bowers said.

Maplewood Commons is located between the existing Center Circle Park and Maplewood Middle School and Maplewood Elementary. Among the features of the park include a traditional center rounded water fountain and a unique rock wall fountain located in the eastern back of the park, connected by walking paths that surround the park.

There is also a Little Library station donated by the Calcasieu Parish Library system alongside a Japanese Maple Tree donated and planted by the Sulphur Sunrise Rotary Club.

Calcasieu Parish Police Juror and Sulphur resident Les Farnum also marveled at the beauty of the new park. “This is a wonderful addition. This is what SPAR brings to the table. It takes our parks to a whole new level,” Farnum said. “You have to thank all the board members and leadership at SPAR for their vision.”

Just about where Maplewood Commons is located there was one of the first commercial centers developed for a community in Louisiana. The original town was constructed for Cities Service by John W. Harris Associates of New York City.

Certain designs in the new park are a homage to that original shopping center. The wrought iron trellis located at the entrance of the park is a replica of the business office columns of the shopping center.

“I grew up in Maplewood and remember the shopping center well,” Farnum said.

“This park is at the center of what this community is all about,” Bowers said. “We have this beautiful park with these wonderful neighborhoods and schools nearby. It’s all about family.”

The board members made sure to give partial credit to former SPAR Director Norman Farr, whose original vision was utilized to jump start the project. Current director Steve Gayfield said the park fits in line with all the other parks around the city.

“Thank you all for supporting this endeavor,” Gayfield said. “We have a plethora of activities available to our residents here in Sulphur and this newest park is representative of what we offer our families.”

Maplewood Commons was designed on a smaller scale of The Grove at Heritage Square but also adds in the existing Center Circle Park as a unique setting. Center Circle Park continues to offer a swimming pool that conducts summer swimming lessons in addition to leisure swimming times.