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BLUE SPRINGS, MISS. (WCBI) – Blue Springs and its 200 residents haven’t seen this much excitement since Toyota was announced seven years ago.

The Toyota Blue Springs Water Garden and Education Park will provide a pavilion, a play structure, and a garden where people can enjoy wildlife, including the monarch butterfly, an endangered species that migrates through the area.

The $100,000 project has been a dream of the tiny town for a long time. Earlier this year, community leaders met with Toyota Mississippi officials to see what the automaker could do for the town that has embraced Toyota and its two thousand workers.

“We didn’t expect it to become a reality, we really didn’t, and they made it a reality and we are so grateful,” said Blue Springs Mayor Rita Gentry.

The park will be across from the post office. Toyota team members, and local residents will build the community space. B and B Concrete and MMC Materials will donate materials for the pavilion and a side walk.

Compost bins and a water cistern will ensure the reuse of water and waste resources. Tree stumps removed from tornado-damaged areas will be turned into benches and tables to be enjoyed for generations to come.

“What we like to say is our plant has no expiration date and we hope this park has no expiration date, we will only be able to build on it for the long term,” said Sean Suggs, Vice President of Administration for Toyota Mississippi.

It also encourages healthy living.

“It gets our kids excited, gets them walking around, enjoying some of the nature and environment,” Suggs said.

Work will start soon on the half-acre community space and on September 20th, hundreds of Toyota Mississippi team members and members of the community will help finish the park. That day is “Toyota’s National Public Lands Day” volunteer event. Projects will take place that day throughout the country.

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