Swann Pond | Historic Hyde Park
"The creation of Swann Pond in Hyde Park took ten years of planning, fundraising and construction... What has the transformation of a drainage ditch into a park meant to the adjacent neighbors? The red brick piers topped with pineapples, symbols of hospitality, welcome rather than repel passersby. The pond sporting a fountain, rather than green scum, is a positive experience, as are the brick-lined sidewalks and black wrought-iron fence and street lamps...
Norma Gene Lykes, through the F.E. Lykes Foundation, was the major donor to this initiative. Her support of green projects has included not only Swann Pond, but also Kate Jackson Park and the spray fountains at Curtis Hixon Park. Again, a visionary who brings projects to fruition through her leadership..."
"... Enter Norma Gene Lykes, a Hyde Park philanthropist who enjoys renovating homes, usually recognizable by the red bench out front when she moves in. In March 2013, a $250,000 check from the F.E. Lykes Foundation propelled the process.
'That changed more in three months than three years prior,' said real estate developer Brian Funk, who has known Ms. Lykes since he was a childhood friend of her sons. 'Without her, we would not be talking about this.' "