A park in the middle of the biggest subdivision in the state has sat empty for more than 20 years, except for one lonely pavilion next to an old family cemetery.
However La Vergne Mayor Senna Mosley hopes that within the next several months, the park will be filled with the sounds of children laughing, families talking, and children of all abilities playing. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the purchase of playground equipment for Lake Forest Park thanks in part to a grant from First Place Finish, Inc. for nearly $30,000. That amount, combined with a budgeted $50,000 for this fiscal year, has allowed the city to move forward with buying playground equipment.
The down-side is that the purchase is for equipment only, and installation must be funded separately either through fundraising efforts or waiting another budget year.
“Our time was very limited in accepting the grant donation by Playworld and First Place Finish and we just could not say ‘no’ to this equipment,” said Mayor Mosley. “We will have to store the equipment until we can raise money to actually build the playground. Once we put together the funding, we plan to do a community build for volunteers to help us put it together.”
The installation is expected to take four days. The installation cost includes pouring concrete in 87 footers, payment for a certified installation engineer, benches for the park, and for surfacing. The city will need to raise between $16,101 and $62,119 for the installation, depending on the type of surfacing that is installed.
“We are concerned about going with an engineered wood fiber surface. Although it is the lowest cost option, the surface is really not conducive to wheelchairs,” said Mayor Mosley. “We are reaching out to our business and industry leaders for help in finally giving the children of the Lake Forest community a place to play.”
Sponsorship levels include:
- “A Walk in the Park for the Kid at Heart” – where people set the amount they contribute.
- “Benchmark Friend” – $1,000 donation to be acknowledged on a park bench plaque.
- “Lake Forest Park Ranger” – $5,000 donation to be acknowledged on park signage.
- “Lake Forest Park Captain” – $10,000 donation to be acknowledged on park signage and sponsorship logo appears on playground.
- “Park Patron” - $20,000 donation to be acknowledged on park signage, sponsorship logo appears on playground, and naming rights for one of the three play areas.
Mosley said, “We hope to have enough funds raised to do the installation this spring or summer. We look forward to our children finally having a fun playground that will inspire their imaginations and promote physical activity.”
To view a 3D image of what the playground will look like and read about building materials and more information, click here: http://ebinder.playworldsystems.com/LakeForestPark/story.html