Playground to be dismantled; new one planned
Just as residents rallied together and pooled their resources to build the Playtime Palace playground in 1990, the community will combine their efforts once again to replace that park with a brand new structure designed to be a safer and more fun place for kids to play.
Chief strategy officer for the planning committee, John Trant, Jr., said that Playtime Palace has literally and figuratively been at the heart of the community.
“There's a lot of community pride in that playground.”
But by working with a committee of residents and planners, Trant is excited that the new park, Kids Castle, will accomplish the same sense of pride for the community.
“It's a great project,” he said.
About 70 percent of the salvageable parts from Playtime Palace, like boards and equipment, will be recycled and used in the new park.
The Cranberry Township Community Chest, or CTCC, will spend 2013 helping to raise awareness and money as they make this their Project of the Year to further their mission of giving the community opportunities to help groups and organizations in the area.
The overall theme of this endeavor is “Cranberry Uniting Playground” which was determined by the Cranberry CUP – Community Uniting People – a community-based volunteer group that has been servicing the Cranberry area for 13 years.
The Cranberry CUP committed to donating $175,000 over a five year period, a sum of money that was essential to starting the project said CTCC treasurer and co-chair for the Community Project of the Year, Bruce Mazzoni.
Mazzoni said that although they are only at step 100 out of 100,000 steps, the Cranberry CUP is what really got them going.
The hope is that the community will gather their resources to help make this vision a reality by September of 2013 by raising another $250,000, a necessary cost to have the park built. Township officials and members of the CTCC and Cranberry CUP hope that residents will step up to the challenge and encourage one another to donate by giving them the opportunity to become a playground fundraising coordinator, or PFC.
PFCs have the responsibility of asking friends, neighbors, and business owners to donate to the park's construction fees and also to organize fundraisers for the community.
PFCs as well as individual donors and businesses will be recognized for their contribution based on the level of their giving with commemorative plaques and honorary bricks that will be at the entrance of the new park.
Mazzoni is passionate about the project and wants the new park to have as much “love” as the old one by giving the responsibility of its creation to the residents.
“It provides that ability for residents and businesses to connect with the community,” he said.
The new playground will feature brand new equipment arranged in three thematically-separated areas which showcase Cranberry's past, present, and hopeful future.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Kids Castle is tentatively scheduled for April 20 with a 5K planned to accompany it and also raise money.
For details on the new park or to get involved, visit www.cranberrytownship.org/Playground.
Matthew DeFusco is an intern with Trib Total Media.