If you build it, they will play! That could be the mantra for a group of Cottage Grove residents who have been raising money to build a large-scale playground in Fireman’s Park in Cottage Grove.
After seeing similar structures in neighboring communities, a group of individuals started researching the concept and formed a not-for-profit organization with 501(c)3 status. That status is key to fund raising because it means donations to the playground are tax deductible.
Organizers anticipate the need to raise about two-hundred-thousand dollars to make the “dream park” a reality. To date, the group is about one-third of the way to achieving its goal. If the goal is met, plans are to construct the playground this fall.
Sixteen years ago, a group of parents in nearby Monroe built a structure similar to the one being planned for Cottage Grove. As with the Cottage Grove group, the Monroe group hired Leathers & Associates of Ithaca, New York to help achieve the goal of designing, fund-raising and building a community built playground. Swiss Alps is an integral part of Monroe’s Parks and along with the city’s swim pool anchors Recreation Park. (See the slide show for more pictures).
These playgrounds are not brought into a park in large prefabricated pieces and assembled. Nor, does a contractor or construction company bid on the project. Instead, playgrounds built under the direction of Leathers & Associates are totally volunteer built. Members of the community work side by side to actually build the structure! People who have never hammered a nail will work with skilled volunteers and by the end of their construction time, both will have a new sense of accomplishment and the community will have a fantastic playground, which will last for generations.
With the upcoming Fireman’s Festival in Cottage Grove this weekend, the Cottage Grove Kids Park committee has several fundraisers planned. On Saturday night, the group will be providing parking for the Festival. If you are planning on attending, the festival, why not give the group a generous tip to help make this dream a reality?
Also this weekend, Cottage Grove residents can use their sidewalk chalk and creativity to “Enchant their Driveway or Sidewalk.” The three most enchanting designs will win prizes, be pictured on the group’s website and earn bragging rights in the community. The fee to participate is only ten-dollars and sure to keep your family entertained for hour!
Other fund raising events are planned in the near future and throughout the summer. Be sure to check out the group’s website for details. Working Mom will continue to provide updates on the fund raising and progress toward building the playground!