Park dedicated to benefactor

When Marsha Tomerlin began planting evergreens in the boomerang-shaped park at highways 395 and 88 in Minden in 1989, the trees were no taller than 6 feet.

"You could touch the top," she said.

After more than 15 years of nurturing, the trees at "Marsha's Park" now tower 30 feet, camouflaging the utility poles at the busy intersection.

On July 1, "Marsha's Park" becomes official.

The Minden Town Board voted unanimously to name the park after Tomerlin, who literally planted the seed to replace century-old cottonwoods along Highway 395 in 1987.

That effort grew into the Beautification Club which has planted and maintained 375 trees along Highway 395 from Muller Lane to the Cradlebaugh Bridge.

"Marsha's Park" which is now home to the life-size "End of the Trail" bronze cowboy statue honoring the men and women of the Dangberg ranch will be dedicated July 1.

The event is part of the weekend celebration of Minden's 100th anniversary.

"I'm very proud of it," Tomerlin said of the park. "This is the community I love. It's my home. I'm very proud to see how the trees have grown."

It's become a Christmas tradition that trees be lighted throughout the holiday season.

Until she turned the operation over to the Town of Minden, Tomerlin paid the hefty seasonal power bills.

She has one request: That the trees be lighted on Nov. 30, her birthday.

Tomerlin's colleagues at Coldwell Banker Itildo Inc. celebrated her 50th birthday by installing a flagpole at the park.

She and her husband Bill, who celebrated their 40th anniversary in May, have lived in Carson Valley for 38 years.

"We'll be here forever," Bill Tomerlin said. "This place has got our hearts and souls."

Marsha Tomerlin said it's fitting that the park and the bronze cowboy statue sit on former Dangberg ranch property.

Other guests at the dedication are relatives of Larry Willson who commissioned the cowboy statue. Willson, who grew up on the Dangberg ranch, died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 2003, before the statue was complete.

His sister Janet is scheduled to speak at the ceremony.

"We're pleased that the park came out so nice," Bill Tomerlin said. "There's something here for everybody."


Dedication of Marsha's Park, highways 395 and 88, Minden, 10 a.m. July 1


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