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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A romantic refuge on the north edge of Moscow

By Anthony Kuipers Moscow-Pullman Daily News

A man’s gift to Latah County will soon become a place for community members to gather and enjoy the scenic hills of the Palouse.

Four years after the late Reo Lloyd donated 8 acres of his family’s land to the county to be used as a park, a pavilion and walking path have been constructed on the property.

“I see it as a multipurpose structure,” Dave Savage said of the pavilion. “I’m hoping people get married here.”

Savage is a member of Moscow’s Masonic Lodge, called Paradise Lodge No. 17. He said Lloyd, who also used to be a Mason, informed the Lodge before he died in 2019 that he planned to turn his family’s estate into a county park.

The park, named after Lloyd’s father, is called Robert Edwin Lloyd Park and is located just north of Moscow city limits on the North Polk Street Extension.

Construction on the timber pavilion and the walking path accessible to people with disabilities started in late 2021 and was led by local contractor Alex Gisler. The large timber pavilion is made of Douglas fir and its wooden trusses are designed to resemble the Masonic square and compass symbol.

It was built with funding from Lloyd’s estate, the Moscow Masonic Lodge and Latah County, Savage said. Its completion will be celebrated during a Saturday ceremony featuring the Grand Lodge of Idaho’s grand master, Gary LaBruyere.

Andrea Lloyd, sister of Reo Lloyd and a basketball gold medalist in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, will also attend Saturday’s ceremony. She recalled her brother being excited about giving the property to the county as a park. He adored their father, so it was not surprising the park is named after their “pa,” she said.

“He was such a pillar of the community,” Andrea Lloyd said.

The community was also important to Reo Lloyd. According to his obituary, volunteerism was a significant part of his life. In addition to the Masons, he was involved in Moscow Moose Lodge 871, the Scottish Rite, and was a Noble of Calam Shrine Temple and Shriners International. It also said he planted 500 trees on his family’s property through the years.

Andrea Lloyd said her brother overcame being bullied in high school to become someone who cared about giving back to his community.

“I think Reo is such an amazing story,” she said.

Andrea Lloyd and Savage envision further additions to the park. Andrea Lloyd would like to see a gazebo constructed and adorned with an old church bell from Troy that she possesses. She said the bell could be rung to celebrate special occasions, like a local high school sports team winning the state championship.

Savage said he hopes native vegetation will be planted throughout the park.