City receives $15,000 grant for Washington Park
By Stephanie Johns
Washington Park will soon benefit from a $15,000 grant for playground equipment thanks to the Madison Greenspace Commission (GSC).
Planning Director Monica Callahan said that they are “super excited” about receiving the grant.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing to a modest neighborhood park as Washington Park a playground as nice as the one at Hill Park,” she said.
GSC applied for the Let’s Play Community Construction Grant over the summer.
“Sarah Wibell, our summer intern, was very helpful to us,” Callahan said.
The grant is made possible by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! to encourage an active lifestyle within walking distance of every child.
Callahan explained that Washington Park is a “neighborhood park,” which means it is city-owned and intended to serve those living within a 10-minute walking distance of the park.
She shared that several years ago the city had money to improve the park but that an adjacent trailer park caused concern for some of the neighbors. She said that conditions have improved, so neighborhood residents petitioned the city for money.The city did not have the money to carry out any improvements and so applied for a grant.
The total cost of upgrading Washington Park will be close to $43,000. Callahan explained that the playground equipment alone will cost approximately $27,000 but that this cost does not include the handicap-accessible walkway, safety surfacing, or even shipping and handling costs. She said they will pursue the difference in cost elsewhere.
Callahan said the timing of the project will depend on several things, including identifying a vendor, finishing the site design and results gathered from a creative concept design day.
She explained that the creative concept design day is tentatively set for Oct. 13. The purpose of the day is to allow kids to submit their ideas about what the park should include.
“They can get involved and we can hear what they might want to do at the park,” Callahan said.
The build day is tentatively set for April 2, 2013. On this day, the community is encouraged to contribute to the creation of the playground.
Printed in the September 13 edition.