Thursday, July 26, 2012
Coppell playground icon to close temporarily
Kid Country at Andy Brown Park is seeking help from the community.
After a rise in maintenance costs and the need for some park components to be replaced, the city of Coppell has decided to close and remodel one of its most popular park features.
Andrew Brown Park East's Kid Country, a longtime icon in Coppell, will be demolished the end of July. The Coppell Parks and Recreation Board is undertaking a major reconstruction project with the community-driven renovation of Kid Country, the city's largest playground complex.
This undertaking is a community-driven effort mirroring the efforts in 1992 when a reported 7,000 volunteers helped raise funds and rebuild Kid Country, according to a press release.
Funds are being raised to pay for the new playground, and volunteers are being recruited to help rebuild the park beginning the first weekend in October, said Ed Guignon, spokesperson for the park.
"The goal is to raise $500,000, and we have raised $385,000 of that," he said. "We are well on our way. We still need to get across the line and I encourage people to go to our website and donate."
The reconstruction project has been dubbed Kid Country 2012.
"When we redesigned the new park, we got input from the citizens," Guignon said. "Part of what we did was we went around to all of the Coppell elementary and middle schools and had design days where the kids could put together some ideas of what they would like to add to the new park."
The design days allowed students to draw some components or play equipment they would like to see in the park.
"We actually got drawings of the new playground components from the kids and voted on winners," Guignon said. "Each school had a winner and we incorporated a number of those into the new playground."
One of the key features of the new park is the inclusion of areas for separate age groups. Each area will be fenced in and sectioned out for infants to 2 year olds, 2 to 5 year olds -- featuring its own swing set -- and a larger area for the older children -- featuring a three-story tree house.
"We have been working on this for about a year and a half," Guignon said. "We had to get all of the design input, working with the architect and coming up with some original ideas. We spent a long time just getting the word out so the community knew we were going to build a new playground -- that took about nine months to pretty effectively get that out."
For information or to donate visit kidcountry2012.com.
Ed Guignon's Guide on How to Help:
Donate cash. Anyone who donates $500 or more will be recognized on a donor recognition wall at the entrance to the park. The new park is being built from a manufactured wood material that has a 30 year life expectancy. Anyone who gets on the front wall will have it there for about 30 years.
Sponsor a component. Every piece in the playground has a dollar amount of sponsorship associated with it ranges from $500 to $10,000. Whoever sponsors a component will get a nameplate right on the component that features their name or companies name and will be on the front recognition wall as well.
Volunteer. Volunteers will be needed, especially the first week in October, to help provide food, child care, manage tools, act as team leaders -- there are a lot of volunteer opportunities. A lot of middle and high schools in Coppell require community service so we want to encourage people of all ages to come out and volunteer.
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