TOPEKA, KAN. – Shawnee County commissioners at their Aug. 29 Board of County Commissioners meeting, renamed Pinecrest Park Nellie Hogan Park to honor an unsung heroine who dedicated decades of her life to serving the Hi-Crest community, area youths and community organizations. The park is located at 1230 SE Pinecrest Drive.
The Hi-Crest Neighborhood Improvement Association championed the renaming of the park. The action was then recommended by the Shawnee County Parks + Recreation Advisory Board.
Hogan moved into the Highland Crest west neighborhood in 1961 and for 33 years has held various offices in the Hi-Crest Neighborhood Improvement Association. Her community service ranges from being a Camp Fire Girls leader for 15 years, including a term as president, and room mother at Avondale East Elementary School where she organized after school programs. She mentored for three years in the Topeka Rescue Mission’s Dare to Dream Program at Avondale East. Even after moving to Berryton, she was a foster parent for many children. She then moved back to Hi-Crest and served as president of the NIA.
Even before the NIA was approved, Hogan helped organize a Neighborhood Watch. She and her husband ran one of two CB radios and patrolled the neighborhood even while working full-time. There was reportedly next to no crime in the neighborhood. Hogan still assists people with the Harvesters monthly food program at Avondale East. She gives a bag of candy to kids when they get off the school bus on Fridays. She also stocks a Blessing Box in her front yard with food, books, hats, mittens and socks. She helped organize the National Night Out in Betty Phillips Park.
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation includes nearly 60 miles of trails, 2,696 acres of parks and 320 annual days of sporting activities. In addition, the department offers recreation programs, educational programs and golf. A combination of tax dollars, user fees and private donations enables Shawnee County Parks and Recreation to offer parks, sporting and aquatic facilities with state-of-the art features, and beautiful, nationally recognized gardens.