Logan Fountain at Riverside Park is an oasis for Independence families and guests. A respite from the heat of a warm summer evening. A visual delight of jewel-toned bursts of color against the night sky.  Cars roll slowly past, taking in the dramatic lights on the way home from the baseball game. Some park along the circle drive, windows down, listening to the splashes of water and reverberating chorus of cicadas.

Jana Shaver was one of those who took a seat around Logan Fountain, emptying her mind of the day’s concerns, reveling in the squeals of grandchildren with her husband, the late Dick Shaver, by her side. Shaver has half a century of life tied to the park. Good memories. Poignant ones, too. When the Independence community rallied to support the restoration of the fountain in 2015, enjoyment for the next generation seemed assured. Jana Shaver noticed a key element had been excluded. There were fewer places to sit and enjoy the fountain’s spectacle.

She contacted Jim Hogan, member of the Riverside Park Board, and learned the previous benches surrounding the fountain had crumbled and were carted away during the repairs. Shaver brought up the missing seats with her walking companion, Val DeFever, who offered to add to Shaver’s gift and purchase a second bench. From there, Shaver contacted others she knew would invest in any project benefitting the greater good. The third bench was purchased by Ray Woods, who has deep ties to the community. Investor number four was Kathy Raub, who vividly recalls carting grandchildren in pajamas to dance around the fountain. The family of Tom and Debbie Schroeder generously donated a fifth bench so others could share in their front porch view. Park Board member Jim Hogan and his wife, Terry, completed the circle of six. 

Hogan secured permission to work with local Allen Monuments to create and install benches of long-lasting concrete. The hard part, for Shaver, was waiting. By April, celebrants were taking a seat to listen to Mayor Louis Ysusi read an Arbor Day proclamation. 

“The fountain is the place where I let the worries of the day fall away – and I still do,” she shared. It seems to Shaver that she practically raised the grandkids at the park, with the fountain a central part of their childhood experience. Twelve-year-old Dylan is the last of her crew, and Shaver is comforted in the fact that future generations can again linger at Logan Fountain, emptying their minds and filling their senses with the sights and sounds of an iconic symbol of a community that cares – and shares.