Successful community build raises playscape in Champaign Park

Photo by Sue Suchyta Allen Park resident Olivia Begley, 4, explores the new playscape June 10 at Champaign Park.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Allen Park resident Olivia Begley, 4, explores the new playscape June 10 at Champaign Park.

 

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Three days of volunteer effort assembled the city’s largest park playscape June 7 to 9 in Champaign Park, with volunteers spreading mulch June 10 at other city parks.

The installation relied on volunteers as part of a community build process, which allows the city to spend more money on playground equipment and less on installation labor.

Director of Parks and Recreation Pat Hawkins said 93 volunteers worked with five or six city employees each day.

“The community build went very well,” Hawkins said. “This gives volunteers a sense of ownership and accomplishment. They seem to watch over the park more closely.”

Hawkins said the weather was cooperative, and the playscape was assembled by noon June 9.

On June 10 volunteers from the Allen Park Citizens Civic Fund and the Allen Park High School football team went to other city parks to spread mulch dropped at the locations the day before.

Hawkins said he never knew how many volunteers would appear each day of the build, but he was pleased with the turnout and enthusiasm. He also noted the generosity of the many sponsors who  provided food, drink and other supplies and resources for the volunteers.

Allen Park resident Adam Begley, who lives near the park, brought his children, 4-year-old Olivia and 6-year-old Ethan to the new playscape June 10.

“It’s great,” Adam Begley said. “It’s about time this one got updated. I’m pretty happy and excited about it.”

While his daughter enjoyed being pushed in a swing, his son was busy climbing on the structure.

“He’s really active, so he likes the climbing stuff,” Begley said. “I think he is going to like the height here.”

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)