Northside Park Playground is Open for Business

In the span of a morning and part of an afternoon, a several month long project to build a new playground in Lamar was completed.  This past Saturday, September 14, was known as ‘build day’ for about 300 volunteers who contributed their time to assemble and erect playground equipment at the Northside Park in Lamar.  Volunteers started breaking down the boxes early that morning and teams began to assemble their particular section of the equipment that would be added to all the others.  By 2:30 that afternoon, they were done.  One piece of equipment, a new swing set, will be erected later this month.  That was paid for from grant funding from the Huddleston-Butler Foundation and Wyganent Trust.   All that was needed was some time to allow the concrete to cure by Tuesday before it would be open to the public.  LiveWell Prowers County was on hand from the first idea to the conclusion of the project, and is hosting a watermelon feed and fun games for the community, set from 6pm to 7pm on the 17th.

Emily Nieschburg of LiveWell, the project coordinator, said the only way the playground came into existence was through the efforts of the community.  KaBOOM, a national organization, donated $90,000 for the equipment, but one of their criteria was that the creation of the playground had to be done on a grassroots community level.  That meant volunteers and there were plenty of hand.  The donations of time and materials were from ordinary citizens from 7 to 70 years old, local businesses, the schools, Lamar Community College, Prowers Medical Center, Lamar Parks and Recreation and City of Lamar work crews.  Nieschburg said the goal of the new playground was to create a way to let more kids in the neighborhood become more physically active.  She said the local community efforts and young volunteer groups working on the project helped create a feeling of ownership of the playground that will last for years to come.

By Russ Baldwin


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