C of E Park
C of E Park is located on part of the grounds of the original College of Emporia campus which encompassed an area from 12th to 15th Avenues and Chestnut to Lincoln Streets. After this Presbyterian school closed, the campus was sold to the Way International, a non-denominational religious organization. After the Way ceased operations at this location, the campus was purchased and broken up into several separate pieces.
A 6.129-acre tract of land was donated by the developer, H.T. Paul Company, Inc. to the City for use as a park, allowing a buffer between the new residential and commercial areas. Leveraging this donation against a grant for outdoor recreational development, a new park was conceived and consequently built in 1996.
This park features a pond, "Lake Mergandahl", which also serves as a storm water retention pond, berms, labeled plantings of recommended trees for Emporia, a day lily garden, rest areas with benches, a drinking fountain, ornamental lighting, a parking lot and a handicap accessible walking trail that circles the park. This facility has proven itself to be very popular with walkers.
Future improvements considered include a bridge crossing the pond.
During 2006, the Alumni Association of The College of Emporia placed this bench at the 15th and Chestnut Street entrance to the park. The inscription reads:
In Recognition and Remembrance Of All C. of E Students, Faculty, and Friends
Who Were Here Through The Years.
The College Of Emporia
1882 to 1974
Memorial Placed By Alumni Association 2006