Parks and Recreation

Building Homes with Gingerbread Houses

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Join the holiday fun and decorate a gingerbread house cutout to help locally George Owens Nature Park invites Independence families, organizations, and businesses to decorate gingerbread house cutouts for display within the park from December through January 2022.

Cutouts go on sale beginning Nov. 2, 2021, in support of Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity.

“This is a longstanding tradition at George Owens Nature Park,” City of Independence Recreation Program Supervisor Jeff Umbreit said. “We always look forward to seeing and sharing the imaginative ideas brought to life by our community. Of course, we’re also thrilled to help support our local Habitat for Humanity in the process.”

The gingerbread house cutouts will go on display beginning Dec. 8 at the park’s 18th Annual Winter Solstice Torch Lit Hike event. They’ll remain on display for park visitors through Jan. 30, 2022.

“Your participation in this event is an all-around positive for Independence,” said Lindsay Browne, Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity. “It’s a great opportunity to bring family together or perhaps promote your business or organization to the local community. It contributes to our community’s culture, and it supports our organization’s mission to help local families.”

Cutouts can be purchased at the Habitat for Humanity ReStores in Independence (505 N. Dodgion St.) and Blue Springs (1219 N.W. 7 Highway) starting Tuesday, Nov. 2. Cost is $20, and supplies are limited. The City of Independence would like to thank the Fort Osage School District, whose students create the cutouts for this event. Please note: cutouts are made of plywood and stand approximately 4 feet tall. Some decorating guidelines apply.

About Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity

Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity was established in 1989 to help families in need to achieve strength, stability and self-reliance through homeownership. Families served have low-to-moderate household incomes and have a demonstrated need for decent and affordable housing. They partner with Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity by helping to build or improve their home by providing sweat equity and repaying a zero-interest loan.

About George Owens Nature Park

George Owens Nature Park, operated by the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department at the City of Independence, has given families the opportunity to reconnect with their natural environment since 1977. The park is open year round and provides 86 acres of beautiful forest, lakes, hiking trails and wildlife. Explore the DeWitt Center and experience rotating exhibits, a pond display and 4 large aquariums.


Contact Lindsay Browne at (816) 832-4560 or

Contact Jeff Umbreit at (816) 325-7351 or