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Wapak park goes from ruin to riches

May 7, 2014

Gardeners Jim Kohler and Lois Marker, left, stand with Mayor Rodney Metz and Wapakoneta office manager Diana Blackburn at the newly planted Rudd-Yocum Corner, at the intersection of Defiance Street and Hamilton Road. (Staff photo/Brittany Powell)

A corner of Wapakoneta that previously would not have caught the attention of a passerby is now springing with tulips, perennials, pansies, and is in the care of two individuals who have promised the land a bright future.

Lois Marker and Jim Kohler, both lifelong residents of Wapakoneta, have been planning, mulching and planting along the corner of Hamilton Road and Defiance Street, growing a garden of spring flowers at the park dedicated as “Rudd-Yocum Corner.”

“This has been our dream and it’s come to fruition,” Marker said about her and her friend’s work on the park. “It’s been 6 months.”

Marker has been planting the flowers on the triangle of Defiance and Murray streets for 25 years.

“The triangle was my dad’s for 30 years,” Marker said about her father, Harold Hepp. “When he died, I took it over."

Kohler said Marker’s father got him interested in gardening, as well, and he would take him to garden shows when he was in high school.

With a desire to beautify the city and the necessity of traveling past the land dedicated to the Rudd-Yocum Corner, Marker said she and Kohler could not bear to see the neglected garden.

“We have to stop at that stop light, and I look over there,” Marker said, “and I told [Kohler], ‘I just want to get out, go over there and pull weeds!’”

For the full story, see the Wednesday, May 7 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.

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