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Dino-Mine playground continues to grow

Artist Terry Willis and chairperson Susan Polster help to install the Dino-Mine Adventure Park’s sign.

Sun Advocate community editor

Like the rest of Carbon County the Dino-Mine Adventure Park just keeps improving. Park chairpersons along with community volunteers met at the mine last Thursday to participate in a work party aimed at beautifying the park and finishing details surrounding the Dino-Mine's community recognition monument.

"We installed approximately 30 to 40 new rose bushes and four new trees at the work party," said Dino-Mine volunteer and community recognition sign artist Terry Willis. "We also placed new mulch around the tree bases in the park, it is really looking beautiful."

Willis worked for more than four months to complete the Dino-Mine's sign which is dotted with plaques that identify the park's major contributors and builders.

"If I could have worked on my own time table I think I could have finished the sign in a three week period," said Willis. "However, as I was working on the monument more and more names came in and we had to continue to modify the sign. The sign was erected last Tuesday in order to thank all of the major contributors and committee chairs, but we would like everyone to know that, if your name was omitted from the monument, please contact us. The error was inadvertent and there were so many people who contributed."

Willis recommended contacting Susan Polster if a name was left off one of the plaques that belongs there.

According to Willis, the dino mine also has new lighting, provided by Price city. And she reports its presence has significantly cut down on the vandalism which has plagued the park.

The Dino Mine officially opened on Sept. 16, 2006 with a ribbon cutting conducted by then Miss Carbon County Danielle Olsen and Little Miss Carbon County Alex Tryon.

At that time, the playground, located at Terrace Hills Park, represented more than $250,000 worth of local donations and more than 3,000 area workers who helped to build it.

An all community volunteer effort kicked off on Sept. 11, 2006 when a huge amount of civic minded individuals, young and old, showed up to build something for their community.

According to a September 2006 Sun Advocate article by publisher Richard Shaw, the idea for the playground park began when College of Eastern Utah journalism instructor Susan Polster was driving in Fruit Heights in northern Utah with her grandchildren.

Polster stopped to let the kids play in a theme playground. She realized building a park in Price might be a good idea.

After doing some research, Polster found that there were hundreds of theme parks around the country and that most of them had been built by community volunteers.

Polster brought the idea to Price City Councilmember Jeanne McEvoy and the pair began to enlist people to organize a fund raising effort for the park.

For initial funding, the county's special service district allocated $75,000 to the project and an anonymous donor gave $50,000 to the effort. As money continued to pour in, the park had quickly reached the estimated need of $200,000.

Before the park was completed, the steering committee conducted a county wide contest to choose a name for the playground. Eleven children selected the winning name and the the Dino Mine Adventure Park was born. The name would subsequently become the Basso Dino Mine Adventure Park after committee chairs recognized Tony Basso for his generosity to the project.

In July of 2007 plaques, pickets and memorial bricks were added to the park as part of a fund raising effort aimed at giving community citizens a place to recognize their lost loved one.

Since that time a retaining wall and asphalt walking path have been added to the park along with numerous other improvements.

The park has and will continue to be an ongoing project as talk of a water spray park is still in the works, according to Willis.

"Work is still ongoing and anyone interested in participating can contact Polster in order to learn of future work parties," concluded Willis.

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