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A New Oasis

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Glenwood Couple Turning Former Restaurant Site Into Urban Park

By Joe Foreman, Editor

A parcel of land that once housed the popular Oasis restaurant is being transformed into an urban oasis by the new owners of the property.

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Since purchasing the vacant lot at 104 S. Walnut St. on the southwest corner of Town Square in May, Joe and LuAnn Edwards have been working countless hours turning the site into a yard where they can bring their five Pomeranians to play or enjoy a cookout or cold beverage with friends.

Joe and LuAnn live across the street from the property in an apartment above the two businesses they own and operate at 427 Sharp St. – Joe Designer and LuAnn’s Hair Design.

“We live in town, but we didn’t have a yard,” Joe said. “This is close to us and ultimately I’m going to have a building in the back for my business, but that’s not going to happen right away.”

The couple has made multiple additions and improvements to the property over the past five months - building a pergola, a stone walking path and a solar-lit front lot line fence made from recycled corrugated tin panels. They’ve adorned the site with rustic decorations, lawn chairs and a fire pit and so far, they’ve planted 12 trees and several shrubs, perennial flowers and grasses. Even some tomato plants. More plantings are coming and a new retaining wall will be built on the north lot line.

“It’s an urban park,” LuAnn said. “We want people to use it as a park with permission.”

LuAnn envisions the park becoming a place for people to enjoy a quiet lunch or even stage a wedding or photo shoot.  She noted, however, the site is monitored 24 hours a day by a security camera.

Joe and LuAnn admit they’ve been so busy working “in the park” that they’ve had little time to just come outside and enjoy it.

“Now, we can actually come out here and not work,” LuAnn said. “There’s still a lot of clutter that will get put in the shed after it’s built.”

LuAnn said she and her husband have heard several comments about their endeavor – all positive.
“One of the reasons we’re doing this is to better the community,” she added.

The Oasis and Doodle’s restaurants that were previously housed on the site actually occupied two parcels. The Edwards own the south parcel. The north parcel is still owned by Wendy Kuhnert who operated Doodle’s restaurant on the site until its closure in 2015. The building on the site was demolished in January 2016 after a major portion of the south wall of the structure collapsed.