Washington Parks and Recreation Superintendent Kip Kelley has a goal — he wants Washington to be known not just for Eastside but all of its parks.
“I want us to be known for parks not just Eastside,” said Kelley.
Now, thanks to a $50,000 donation from the United Way of Daviess County, Kelley’s goal is one step closer to reality.
Zella Taylor, executive director for the local United Way, said funding for the project came through a gift from the estate and trust of Virginia Adams.
“Through a lengthy process of how to best impact the community and meet community needs, the board was able to approve $50,000 to go towards the new playground project,” said Taylor who said those community needs were determined by utilizing the Economic Development’s Community Survey results. “I think Ms. Adams would be pleased to know how many children and families will be enjoying the playground for years to come through her generous gift.”
Taylor said the new playground is just one example of how the local United Way works to make a difference in the community.
“We are really excited about this,” said Taylor, who said if anyone is considering leaving a legacy gift through endowment, estates or trusts, they can call the local United Way at 812-254-1038.
Kelley said Longfellow Park was selected to receive the new playground equipment that also includes several Americans with Disabilities Act accessible features.
“This the oldest playground equipment we have. It was put in around 2007,” said Kelley, who said the site of the new equipment will likely not be where Longfellow’s current equipment resides. “We will most likely move it back a little. We have sidewalks already in place near the basketball courts so we may put it in a little closer to that. This is about a $75,000 project in total with the concrete work and other preparations.”
The old equipment will be removed once the weather gets a bit nicer, but if all goes as planned, the installation will take place in the spring.
Over the last couple of years, Kelley said his team at the parks department has worked to make improvements at all of Washington’s parks. Longfellow’s restrooms recently received a facelift, new basketball courts have been installed and an exercise trail has been installed around the perimeter.
Kelley said with Longfellow’s proximity to the Sports Complex, the new equipment should see quite a lot of use especially since it can hold up to 220 youths at a time.
“This is similar to what we installed at South Park last year,” he said.
Mayor Dave Rhoads agreed with Kelley.
“We have really good parks and I would like to see more for this one,” said Rhoads. “This is going to be a really nice addition.”