Brief History of Justice Myron E. Leavitt and Jaycee Community Park
The below information is a brief summary of the park history, foucsing on key events. It is not meant to be a thorough history of the park or the Jaycee organization.
1963 –The Jaycee organization, or Junior Chamber of Commerce, contact the city of Las Vegas with the interest of developing a park in the southeast portion of the city.
Aug. 8, 1963 – City staff recommends a location for the new park 10 acres between St. Louis and Sahara avenues, just north of K.O. Knudson School.
Aug. 23, 1963 - Jaycee members put their commitment to the development of a park in writing in a letter agreeing to earmark moneys to be used for a park.
Aug. 29, 1963 – Jaycee members and city staff meet to discuss the proposed location and amenities of the park. A letter dated Aug. 30, 1963 outlines this meeting.
Sept. 4, 1963 – The item is heard by the City Commission, which unanimously approves the partnership to build the park and agree to refer to the park as “Jaycee Park and Recreational Area.” - view minutes A letter from the City Clerk Edwina Cole on Sept. 9, 1963 confirms the commission’s action. - view letter
1970s – 1990s – Various improvements are made to the park in several phases, with the Las Vegas Jaycees contributing financial assistance as well as labor. The park also expands in size by several acres.
Nov. 12, 2008 – The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission recommends a new name for Jaycee Park - “Justice Myron E. Leavitt Family Park.” Justice Leavitt was born in Las Vegas in 1930 and lived in the Jaycee Park area his entire life. He was the founder of Little League baseball in Las Vegas and spent his entire adult life coaching not only Little League, but American Legion baseball, Pop Warner football, basketball and softball. Much of the coaching he did took place at this very park. Mayor Pro Tem at the time, Gary Reese, recommended the name change for the park, citing Justice Leavitt’s contributions to not only the entire city, but to that particular neighborhood.
Dec. 3, 2008 – Renaming of the park to “Justice Myron E. Leavitt Family Park” is unanimously approved by the City Council.
March 6, 2012 – The city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission votes once again to rename the park Justice Myron E. Leavitt and Jaycee Community Park. The name change reflects the desire to recognize the Jaycees and their contributions to the construction of the park as well as honor Justice Leavitt, who was such a mainstay at the park for so many years. Councilman Bob Coffin, who represents Ward 3, the area where the park is located, worked with residents to make sure the efforts of the Jaycees were not forgotten, while at the same time ensuring Justice Leavitt would be remembered.
April 4, 2012 – The City Council unanimously approves the new name for the park - Justice Myron E. Leavitt and Jaycee Community Park.
Former Jaycee member Greg Touissant provides his personal memoirs of the development of the park.