Whitney Commons, a steward’s idea, a people’s park

Whitney Commons by Pat Blair. Sheridan Media file photo.

Established in 2003, Whitney Commons is an interactive park located in the center of Sheridan.

The commons is between the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library and The Hub on Smith while also being in close proximity to the Sheridan County YMCA. 

Features within the park include the pavilion, a playground designed for fun and safety, large grass covered areas, the popular water spray grounds, an amphitheater and plaza area, vintage lighting that illuminates pedestrian walks and bike paths, the Dorothy King reflective flower garden, and even closed circuit cameras providing park security. 

Whitney Commons is only one of three ideals put forth by Edward Augustus Whitney. A well-traveled, educated civil war veteran, Whitney chose to use large portions of his fortune to better Sheridan and offer educational opportunities.

Whitney is credited to having once said his fortune did not belong to him, he was only its steward: it belongs to the people and he dared not be careless with it.

While appearing on Sheridan Media’s Public Pulse program, Whitney Benefits Executive Director Patrick Henderson gave listeners a brief description of the three specific areas within the community in which Whitney wished to benefit all of Sheridan County. 

P Henderson 

Whitney died in 1917, but those three areas in which he wanted to grow Sheridan are thriving through the work of the people at Whitney Benefits. 

Many community events take place at the Whitney Commons. According to Coordinator Janet Barnes, the community is encouraged to use the area free of charge. Barnes also told listeners that with the dedication of the grounds crew, the park will always be a vibrant, clean and safe place for Sheridan County residents to enjoy, just as Whitney intended. 

J Barnes 

To learn more about Whitney and The Whitney Benefits, click here

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