Abby Dalton and her friends at Lackawanna Trail Elementary School are about to get the playground of their dreams.
Factoryville Borough and Clinton Twp. Joint Municipal Park will be transformed this weekend. Around 100 volunteers will gather in the park Saturday to build the borough’s first non-school playground.
“It was really cool that I will be able to see my dream come true,” said Abby, a sixth-grader. The design of the new play space was inspired by students ages 5 through 12, who were asked to draw their dream playgrounds.
Sadie Rozenburg, a part-time grant writer for the borough, had the idea for the playground in 2012.
School playgrounds can’t be used by families during school hours. After researching KaBOOM!, a nonprofit dedicated to creating play spaces nationwide, Mrs. Rozenburg saw an opportunity. She sought community input and found nearly universal support.
Mrs. Rozenburg and Jeanne Moran, a pediatric physical therapist, got together and created the Factoryville Playground Taskforce in the fall of 2013 and the project grew from there.
The two created sketches and signed up volunteers.
KaBOOM! approved Mrs. Rozenburg’s application for the borough to be named a Playful City USA, recognizing the community’s promotion of the active play of its children.
As Factoryville enters its second year as a Playful City, the Playground Taskforce is ready to secure a $227,000 Greenways, Trails and Recreation grant that helped finance the addition of concession stands and bathrooms. She also applied for a grant from KaBOOM!, which awarded her $20,000 for the playground.
Many students drew treehouses, so the task force designed a 12-foot tower with a platform as a mock treehouse. Plans also include three slides, rock-climbing walls on both tiers, monkey bars and a gyro twister spinner.
This is just phase one, said Mrs. Moran. Along with adding swings and a playground for younger children, the task force is looking to update other parks.
“The hope is this task force will stay together for years to promote active play areas throughout the community,” Mrs. Moran said. “This is our first big project and we are hoping for more in the next few years.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, the last day of classes for Lackawanna Trail Elementary School.