It takes a group of people coming together reaching for a common goal to get something accomplished. This is what Bob and Amanda Rogers look to do in Lowell as they lead the effort to find funding to replace the playground equipment at Stoney Lakeside Park. They are not residents of the city of Lowell but as township neighbors the Rogers volunteer in multiple facets to make the community a better place.
Decades of Use
The current playground equipment at Stoney Lakeside Park has its own story in the city. Originally assembled at Creekside Park in 1983, it was then moved to its current location in the mid-90s. While this structure has withstood over thirty years of use, it has been through several repainting make-overs.
Summer 2015 was the last time the playground equipment received a fresh coat of paint. Bob Rogers says, “Impact Church has a week-long community based project called Love Week. During Love Week 2015 we painted the playground equipment at Stoney Lakeside Park (Pebble Beach area) and found that the equipment there was in pretty bad shape.” One example was the discovery of a hole in the metal which was covered with duct tape as a means of repair. “It was then when we (my wife and I as well as the project leaders that year leading the Love Week project at Stoney) began to talk about replacing that playground with something more fun, safer and functional.” Each year as part of Love Week one of Lowell’s parks is on the list of places to help spruce up in some way.
Doing the Math
Who will pay for the new playground equipment? Bob Rogers will submit a grant application in December to the Lowell Area Community Fund for no more than 75% of the cost of a replacement structure. The remaining 25% will need to be raised privately. This is where the Rogers are looking for help from community residents and businesses. The Lowell Parks and Rec Board has also been involved. They’d like to be able to donate to the effort but an amount has not been determined at this time.
A poll on the Replacing Stoney Lakeside Park Playground Facebook page where 356 people voted over the course of a month gave nine different play structure options. The winning design, which received 156 votes, comes at a cost of $57,000.00. This means a minimum of $14,250.00 should be raised through funding outside of a grant. If each of the approximately 4,000 households in the community donated $5 the result would be $20,000.
“We’ve set up a GoFundMe page which makes it easy for residents and anyone really to donate towards the cause and also checks can be written to the City of Lowell where they’ve set up a line in their budget for this. Notes of intention need to at least mention Stoney Lakeside Park Playground though.” invites Bob for those interested in making a contribution. He is also planning on meeting with local churches and Rotary for help with funds. This is a community project.
Your monetary aid, regardless of size, will help. Playground equipment is an investment for all. Grandparents and parents watch kids smile as they play. It promotes outdoor activity and healthy behavior. A new structure will be safer and more practical for kids’ enjoyment for many years.
All private funding should be secured by Dec. 1, 2016. The funds raised will determine the amount of needed via a grant and a price range for an affordable playground structure.
The goal is to have the old equipment removed and new equipment installed during Impact’s Love Week in July 2017. Once the structure is in place the city will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep as it is with playgrounds in other city parks.
We, Not I
Bob Rogers is quick to point out this project is not the result of his efforts alone. He and Amanda may have planted the seed, but a team of people and organizations is what will produce results. The Rogers have worked with Impact Church, DPW Director Rich LaBombard, as well as city employees Scott Fosburg, Luanne Wisniewski, and Sue Olin. But the work is just beginning.
The Rogers are volunteering their time when it comes to raising awareness and money for the replacement playground. They saw a need in the community and put their thoughts into action becoming part of the solution. Working together is how the Lowell area continues to grow.
An idea of what could happen can easily turn into what can we make happen. With the help of the community working together a simple thought regarding old playground equipment can become a reality. Be a part of the “we” that makes it happen by making a donation. And “like” the Replacing Stoney Lakeside Park Playground Facebook page for future updates.