Milton Parks and Recreation Commission short nearly $19,000 for Crossridge Park playground

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Andrea Behling
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MILTON—From excavation to the ribbon cutting ceremony, the timeline is completely laid out for the Crossridge Park playground project planned at North Parkview Drive near the Parker YMCA in Milton.

Now all the Milton Parks and Recreation Commission has to do is find a way to finish paying for it.

The commission is nearly $19,000 short for the $75,000 project. Coming up with fundraising ideas was the main concern at Monday night's meeting.

Commission members decided to bring their fundraising concerns to the city council, proposing an agenda item for the council's next meeting on Aug. 5.

The parks commission is prepared to ask the city if it would be willing to put more money toward the project. The city already has donated $10,000. The agenda item would open discussion for alternate fundraising options.

Commission member Don Vruwink offered the idea of hosting a “Park Walk” similar to a CROP Hunger Walk fundraiser. Kids would go door to door with their parents or supervisors asking for donations.

“We've got to get our parents and kids involved,” Vruwink said.

Some commission members agreed they had a fairly strong case to convince the city to put more money into the project.

“The mayor was very big on upgrading the city parks, so I'm sure we'll have support,” commission member Lynda Clark said.

Assistant to the City Administrator Inga Cushman cautioned against any plans for fundraising that happen after the playground is built.

“Once you have something constructed, it's hard to get money for it,” she said.

The city received a grant to build the playground after being selected as a 2013 Playful City USA community by national non-profit KaBOOM! last May. The $20,000 “Let's Play City Construction” grant was awarded by the Dr. Pepper Group and KaBOOM! in September.

The commission thinks the playground will be one of the more highly used playgrounds in the city, according to a city news release. The playground is planned near a blacktop walking trail in the northern half of the park. It will neighbor the Parker YMCA and a seven-acre area of natural prairie around a walking trail.

The playground's timeline of events begins July 31 when contractor Lee Recreation and the Department of Public works marks the site for excavation. A volunteer “Build Day” is planned for Aug. 23. There are 40 volunteers already signed up to help put together tunnels and other equipment. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 6 p.m. on Aug. 25.

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