A new place to play

Alex Doty • Aug 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Children visiting Grand Haven State Park will soon have another place to play.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources employees alongside volunteers with the Friends of Grand Haven State Park and Carter’s Kids worked Monday and Tuesday on the installation of a new playground at the beachside park. 

Located adjacent to the park’s modern campground, the new playground joins an existing play area located near the beach. It should alleviate the strong demand for playground use at the park.

“We’re really, really happy with the design and work that went into it,” Friends of Grand Haven State Park Treasurer Judi Mazurek said.

With the structure installed, Mazurek said that the play surface should be poured Sunday or Monday, which means the playground could be ready for use by next week.

RELATED: Photo Gallery: Playground build at Grand Haven State Park

“It really should be up and running maybe late Tuesday night or Wednesday,” she said, noting that the area will be roped off in the meantime, as it’s not yet safe for children to play on.

This playground is the first of three 2017 Playground Initiative projects in Michigan State Parks. The initiative includes a community build and a partnership between friends groups, Michigan Recreation & Park Association and Carter's Kids.

The $125,000 Grand Haven project is partially funded through a donation from the Grand Haven State Park Friends Group and funds from the sale of the state’s Recreation Passport.

“We had another playground ordered, and then Carter’s Kids decided that they were going to do (several) playgrounds in the state parks,” Mazurek said. “They contacted us and we decided we were going to partner with them, because we were going to do it in two stages.” 

With Carter’s Kids’ involvement, the playground at Grand Haven State Park was able to be installed all at once.

Mazurek noted that the friends group has done a lot to raise money for the playground in recent years.

“We raised quite a bit of money with our wood sales, can sales (and) vending,” she said.

They also received grants from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and its Youth Advisory Committee.

“So we did get some money from them to make it a reality,” Mazurek said.

Former Grand Haven State Park Supervisor Joyce Rhodes was one of the volunteers assisting with the playground build on Tuesday morning. She commended the job that the friends group has done to work with all of the different parties to make the project come to life.

“It’s really nice for me to come back and help finish it up,” Rhodes said. “Working with the friends group and the people that camp here and use this park, it has been a real joy for me.”

A ribbon cutting for the new playground could take place later this year, Mazurek noted.

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