Heavy rain may have slowed the work down, but it didn’t stop the start of the community build Wednesday at Ferrysburg Fire Barn Park.
“We’ve made good progress despite the weather,” said Juan Bradford, the community build supervisor for Miracle Midwest, the company supplying the equipment.
Ferrysburg public works employees pumped inches of water from the build site as rain continued to fall Wednesday morning. Volunteers removed parts from boxes and sorted them into piles in the background.
The build site is the same location as the old playground, behind the Ferrysburg fire station located on the corner of 174th Avenue and North Shore Road. The firehouse-themed playground replaces a swing set, teeter totter, slide and sandbox that were originally installed in the 1970s, according to City Manager Craig Bessinger.
City officials unsuccessfully attempted to replace the obsolete playground equipment in 2010. Members of the city’s recreation committee hoped the second time would be the charm and initiated a fundraising campaign for what turned out to be a $104,800 project. The campaign received a $25,000 boost last fall from Peter Secchia, who has owned a summer home in Ferrysburg for decades.
Fundraising efforts took the city close enough to make the project a go in June when the City Council voted to pay the $6,600 shortfall to get the equipment ordered. As donations continue to come in, that amount is being paid back to the city, Bessinger said. Another $3,000 is needed to finish paying off that debt.
In the meantime, volunteers from Shape Corp., Light Corp., Pliant Plastics, the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power and some community volunteers participated in the build on Wednesday.
More volunteers are needed, mostly on Friday and Saturday for the final push, Bessinger said. Volunteers can contact the City Hall at 616-842-5803 or just show up at the site during normal business hours, he said.
“We’ll put them to work,” Bradford agreed.
The equipment will include a fire engine piece for younger kids, a climbing wall that looks like a fire hose and a swing set. The playground is designed primarily for ages 5-12, according to Bessinger.
If you are interested in donating, send a check to Ferrysburg City Hall, P.O. Box 38, Ferrysburg, MI 49409. Make the check out to the City of Ferrysburg, with the words “Fire Barn Park Playground” in the memo line.
Tribune reporter Marie Havenga contributed to this story.