Some were lifelong Williamston residents. Some helped build the McCormick Park playground. Some recently moved to Williamston. All of the more than 70 volunteers who came to Volunteers Community Park had one goal: a new playground. They dug holes, tightened bolts, shoveled mulch and more July 25 to July 27.
“I chose to volunteer because this was an opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to my family,” stated volunteer Amanda Gailitis, mother of two. “I enjoyed the experience and connecting with others in the community. I am proud of the beautiful space our community will be able to enjoy for years to come.”
The $70,000 project at the corner of Putnam and School streets includes a play structure, four swings, a Ten Spin, and a Tri Totter. The work was completed under the supervision of Juan Bradford, community build supervisor for Miracle Midwest, the playground equipment manufacturer.
“You had a dedicated crew that worked extremely hard all weekend,” he said. “I hope everyone had a good time and will have fond memories of this build.”
While the installation was taking place, daycare provider Beth Fryer walked by with several children and watched the progress. “It will be so nice to have a park on this side of town, and not have to cross Grand River Avenue,” she commented, adding that the kids she cares for will be “park angels” and pick up trash and help take care of the space.
Volunteers Community Park is owned by the City of Williamston and featured a playground for many years until the equipment became unsafe due to age and deterioration.
Organized by the Friends of Williamston Parks, the project was funded by private donations, grants and fundraising events. Major donors include Beck Mobile Concrete, Capital Region Community Foundation, Dart Foundation, Elliott Food Equipment, Todd and Gillian Granger, Old Nation Brewing Company/FeelGoodTap, Red Oak Foundation, Stevens Construction & Excavating, Williamston Kiwanis and Williamston Sunrise Rotary.
The City of Williamston will reopen the park once it completes the concrete border around the playground in the next week. After that, all the new equipment will be accessible. For more information about the Friends of Williamston Parks, visit www.williamstonparks.org.