LETTER: Volunteers, donors came through again for playground


Member of the Friends of Possibility Playground and volunteers posed in front of one of the playground’s newest attractions — a whimsical sea monster named Nessie. Press file photo

 To Ozaukee Press:

Eleven years ago, Possibility Playground was built in Port Washington’s Upper Lake Park by thousands of volunteers. It is a magical place where children of all abilities can come together to play side by side. It was ground breaking, inspiring other communities to build accessible playgrounds.

Though it is the jewel in the city’s park system, its heavy use, the need for surface replacement and the advances in playground equipment meant it was time for a redo. Once again the community came together to make it happen.

Longtime playground supporter Shirli Flack kicked off the expansion project when she generously donated the Ability Whirl Merry Go Round that accommodates both able-bodied children and children who depend on wheelchairs.

The playground has become a destination that draws children from throughout the region, which is why Port Washington Tourism stepped in with a grant. Port Washington Kiwanis Club, with its mission to foster a better world for children, also supported the expansion with its Merry Go Fish fundraiser.

The expansion designed by Play By Design features a replica of the city’s bandshell with new musical instruments. Helping to bring it to life was its sponsor Port Washington State Bank and the Band Shell Building Crew lead by Jerry Baganz.

The new stainless steel slide that will allow children with cochlear implants to slide without interfering with their hearing devices became a reality thanks to J&H Heating and the Mayer family, who not only sponsored the slide but donated the company’s heavy equipment, tools and labor for the project.

The expansion couldn’t have happened without the support of the City of Port Washington, which not only will be replacing the pour-in-place surface but helped with grading and concrete work and sent a team of workers to help when volunteers were scarce.

Key to the expansion project was the support of the city’s Park and Rec department’s Jon Crain and Kiley Schulte, whose enthusiasm and energy will ensure the playground’s bright future.

Even though the project was on a much smaller scale than the original build, more than 400 people volunteered their time and talents, from donating food to feed the volunteers to sawing, drilling and screwing the new additions together. From skilled tradesmen to those who came armed with a broom, from high school students to retirees, the volunteers spanned generations.

This community came together to make this special place for children of all abilities even better. We humbly thank everyone who “Brought Nessie Home” to Possibility Playground.
Mardy McGarry, Sue Mayer, Greta Schanen, Melissa Niemeyer, Stacey Berg, Heidi Bertler, Stacey Peters, Lois Hartwig, Jen Peer, Julie Pfrang, Chris King, Amy Olson, Danielle Mayer and Jeff Mayer
Friends of Possibility Playground

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494
 

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