This unique Park memorializes the beloved and internationally known children's story entitled "Roxaboxen" by author Alice McLerran.
Roxaboxen is located on the corner of 8th Street and 2nd Avenue in Yuma, Arizona. This unique Park memorializes the beloved and internationally known children's story entitled "Roxaboxen" by author Alice McLerran (now published in 7 languages). This true story is based on the adventures of the author's mother and fellow Roxaboxenites as they grew up in Yuma in the early part of the last century. These children created the make-believe town of "Roxaboxen" from rocks, boxes and lots of imagination. Even today, you can find neighborhood children making little rock and box houses with imagination as their only mortar.
The Park has no grass, no swings, but remains much as it was, reflecting the time period of the story. Very simple benches are installed at the park. There are also three benches that are decorated with tile mosaics that celebrate the story. These mosaics were created by a local fifth-grade class from Pueblo Elementary School and the Art Club from Woodard Junior High. Handmade tiles were painted with the designs that the art club students created after reading the book and were installed on the seats and backs of the benches. These three benches are now installed at the Heritage Branch of the Yuma County Library.
The park held its grand opening in June 2000 with descendents of the original Roxaboxenites. The great-granddaughter of "little Jean" was on hand to cut the ribbon, with a little help from her Grandmother Francis and City of Yuma Councilman Frank Irr, and to "return" a rock that her great-grandmother had been saving for over 80 years. Activities included turn of the century games such as tug-of-war, stick-horse races and, of course, building "houses" in the "town" of Roxaboxen.
Donate A Rock
Donating a rock is a wonderful way to share your home state with visitors to the park and broaden the sense of community which is so much a part of the legacy of Roxaboxen. For more information on donating rocks please look at our Roxaboxen Park Donations Guidelines.
Send us your stories and photos of your class projects for other children to enjoy and be inspired by!
For More Information
If you have questions about or would like more information on Roxaboxen Park, please contact the Yuma Art Center.