One day while out driving around...
|A playground similar to this could soon be a reality in Price if the funding is found to do so. This playground is in Fruit Heights in northern Utah and is one of many examples found across the United States.|
Imagine a playground that is designed by children, for children and built by the community they live in. If a motivated group of people in Price have their way, we will have a brand new playground by next September for the youth of this area.
One day while driving around the Davis county area, looking for something to do with her year-and-half-old grandson, Carbon's own Susan Polster came across a wonderland. She stopped and let her grandson play all afternoon at a playground at a new park in the city of Fruit Heights.
The playground, located on Nicholl's Road off Highway 89 in Fruit Heights, is a park designed by children and community members in 2004. It was built in five days by 1,000 volunteers from a community of 4,400. Similar parks have been built in West Valley and Pleasant Grove.
Named "Castle Heights", the park consists of over a half acre of castles, bridges, ladders, towers and slides for children to climb in, on, around and through. It dwarfs any play area in Southeastern Utah. It is built for children of many ages to explore, climb and play on. After coming back home to Price, Polster decided that the local community could benefit from what a playground could add to the area.
Armed with the information about a company who has helped 1,000 communities in the United States design and build these types of playgrounds, Polster approached Price City Councilwoman, Jeannie McEvoy with the idea of having such a playground in Price. McEvoy approached other members of Price City Council about the idea and others throughout the community. Polster contacted officials at the College of Eastern Utah and asked for their support in helping build the project. She's meeting with community and county leaders plus clubs and organizations to help with this project.
Everyone so far has embraced the project. It is important to note that this is not a Price City project. This is a project that began as an idea from one citizen and has grown as members of the community have caught the vision. It is meant to be inclusive of all communities in Carbon County. The location will probably end up in Price, but so far nothing has been ruled out. Fund raising ideas and community volunteers are major elements in planning this all-community built park.
In early September a steering committee was formed that has grown to approximately two-dozen members. The first meeting was held in the Price Municipal Building. About 10 community members were in attendance to hear about McEvoy's and Polster's ideas. The group offered ideas that they would like to see and shared issues, expertise in fund raising ideas and names of community members who could assist in its construction. The second meeting was held at the same location with the committee gearing up for design day, a day ideas and plans will be given to an architect to design Carbon County's park. Design Day is planned for January 2006.
The Playground Steering Committee will be working with a design consultant named Leathers and Associates from Ithica, N.Y. To secure their assistance the steering committee must raise $3,000 as quickly as possible. The funds will be used to fly the consultants to the area to work with the community to design a playground that is uniquely Carbon. On Design Day, the team will work with children in Carbon County to get ideas on what the kids would like to see the playground look like. Then the team meets with members of the steering committee and local officials to get input. The ideas will be taken back to Leathers and Associates and a design will be produced for the community playground.
|Any playground built by the committee will use composite materials that have a long life and need little maintenance.|
Once the plans are drawn up, a ground breaking ceremony is expected in early spring. Price City has agreed to assist with the site preparation with donations of time and equipment. Price City has assigned a liaison to assist the committee with this project.
The cost to build the playground will be approximately $120,000. That includes the $3,000 in consulting fees.
The committee is presently studying various locations to build this play area. The site needs to have at least a half acre available and restrooms already located near by to keep the costs manageable.
Locations in north and south Price have been looked at as well as a site on Fairgrounds Road. The structure will be built out of composite lumber so it will have a 25-year life span with little maintenance. The structure will be designed to be accessible for children in wheel chairs or with other disabilities.
Once the funding has been acquired and the ground prepared, then the building will begin. The goal will be to build the playground in one week with at least a 1,000 members of the community working together to make it happen. Smaller communities than Price have made this happen.
"Build Week: is planned for September 2006.
A website will eventually be set up to give information about the park and updated to keep the community informed on its progress. Anyone wanting to volunteer in helping build the park, can register online.
In the meantime, the steering committee is still looking for people to get involved with the project in the early stages. Anyone interested in joining the committee can contact McEvoy or Polster. Fund raising includes selling the entrance bricks to the park with family names etched on each brick, pickets of the fencing surrounding the park with names etched on each picket, park benches with family names printed on each bench, and many other ideas.
Donations can be made by contacting Polster. The committee would also be willing to do presentations about this project to any group who is interested.
The next meeting of the steering committee is on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in room 210 of the Price Municipal Building.