At 6:00 a.m., long before the first rays of light, they began to arrive. Team Captains were the first. Their task was to separate all the equipment parts into their respective piles in preparation for the teams of volunteers yet to arrive. The coffee, bagels, danish, fruit, juice and more came next. The Parmalat Cow moo-ing her way through the park rolled into place with milk and juice. As the sun gained its hold on the new day, volunteers streamed in from all directions.
By 9:00 everyone was hard at work. Everyone had a task. Everyone had a common mission.
What seemed to be total chaos to the casual passerby was actually a well organized effort to install equipment and safety surfacing in an 8000 square foot area. Like watching a skyscrapper rising from the ground, sliding boards, climbing structures, and teeter-tots moved from assembly to play area. Mountains of mulch gradually disappeared and then reappeared as a flat protective surface around the newly installed play equipment. By 4:00 p.m. most everyone had gone, the straglers were cleaning up the area seemed quiet and park-like once again.
A brand new playground now stood where just weeks earlier an old wooden play structure had been.
On any given day very few children visited the old structure. It did not comply with current safety codes and many parents considered it to be a hazzard.
What a difference the new playground makes. Now, on good weather days, it is not unusual to see a hundred or more children and adults enjoying the playground and sociailizing around its edges.
Leave Your Mark In the Park
You can become a permanent part of The Grant Park Playground. Order your personalized engraved brick today and place your message in the walkways surrounding the new playground. Proceeds from brick sales are placed in a dedicatd fund for care and maintenance of the playground.
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