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Volunteers needed to install Kingfield playground tomorrow

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KINGFIELD – The $60,000 has been raised, the play structure equipment has arrived and now all that’s needed are volunteers to install it.

It took almost exactly two years of planning and fund raising and now the playground is ready for installation this Saturday and Sunday. The new play structure will be installed where the 23-year-old wooden one once stood until recently on the lot behind Webster Hall and the Stanley Museum. The campaign to get new playground equipment came when the old pressure-treated wooden play structure became too dangerous.

Kingfield’s old play structure, photographed in 2006, will be replaced by a new play structure this weekend. Volunteers are needed to help out. (Photo courtesy of Beth Luce and Julie Swain)

“It was horrible,” said Beth Luce of the playground project committee. As the structure aged, varying sizes of splinters would sprout and need to be cut off. Over the years, parts of the structure were taken away after becoming hazardous for children to play on. Cement blocks that once acted as anchors for the structure were growing increasingly exposed, causing additional unsafe conditions.

Seeing a need for new, safer equipment made of plastic compounds and steel, community members formed a committee and set their sights on getting a new play structure installed by September of 2008.

They will beat their goal by a month, after raising $60,000, of which $43,000 went to purchase the play structure equipment. One section will include slides and climbers for ages 5-12 and another section will be installed for the 2- to 5-year-old children. Swings will complete the set.

A Plum Creek grant will help rebuild a trail that connects the in-town playground to Kingfield Elementary School. Established for snowmobilers, the trail needs to be built back up so bike riders and walkers can have a safe journey from the playground to the school, all the while staying away from the town’s streets.

Although it’s been a very rainy week, Saturday is forecast to be cloudy but dry, so it’s full steam ahead to begin installing it starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. Jordan Lumber will be helping out using their heavy equipment, but Luce said they could use a good turnout this weekend.

“We need volunteers,” she said. People don’t need experience, just a willingness to pitch in and help. All the tools needed will be provided. The town office will be open for use of rest rooms and the kitchen on both days. Lunch and snacks will be provided to volunteers.

As for the threat of rain, the plan is to go ahead even if it lightly sprinkles. People should wear work clothes and can show up anytime on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday the work is expected to continue during the same hours. For more information, call Luce at 265-2438.

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