Volunteers Make a Difference!

The city’s Laurie Park received a much-needed revitalization recently, thanks to the efforts of a large contingent of volunteers who braved downpours and puddles of mud to install new playground equipment. 

According to Andrew Rensberger, community engagement-volunteer coordinator, close to 70 volunteers took part in the Community Build project in April that replaced old, worn-out playground items with brightly colored slides, swings, and a miniature rock-climbing wall. From start to finish, the project took the volunteers about eight hours. “They were real troopers to spend the day working in the pouring rain and ankle-deep mud,” he said. Among other community volunteers who pitched in to help were groups from Continental Structural Plastics and The Well United Brethren in Christ Church. 

“It was a really smooth process,” Rensberger remarked, noting that the community volunteers worked alongside a representative of the company that provided the playground equipment. 

In August, community youth groups came together as part of Operation Backyard to spread a soft, mulch-like covering beneath the play equipment. Feedback from those who live in the vicinity of the spruced-up Laurie Park has been overwhelmingly positive. The park, located at 524 Swan Street, has open grassy areas, a basketball court, a grill, and a pavilion with picnic tables. 

Besides the updated playground, the park now has new sidewalks around the play area. Coming soon will be a new entrance sign. The park can be accessed via the city’s blue and orange bike routes. 

Park users are not only enjoying Laurie Park’s fresh new amenities. They are also helping keep the park safe, tidy, and graffiti-free. The Park Patrol program lets park-goers take a hands-on approach to maintenance of their neighborhood parks, reporting to Rensberger anything they encounter that’s not clean, safe, or in good working order. “The more eyes we can get on each park, the safer and more pleasant it’s going to be for everyone,” he said.

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