Community votes for playground

Kiwanis International contest grand prize of $25,000

With the click of a mouse, Marietta residents can help obtain funding for new equipment for a public playground in the city.

The Marietta Kiwanis Club has entered a Kiwanis International contest that will award the winning club $25,000 to go toward playground equipment. If the local club wins, the money will be used for the community playground located beside Washington Elementary School, where fundraising efforts have been ongoing.

“People can vote once a day, every day on each computer,” said Marcia Stewart, incoming president of the Marietta Kiwanis Club. “We need to raise money for this playground and we need to do it quickly.”

The playground space has problems ranging from rusting equipment, fencing coming down, disintegrating steps, drainage issues and more.

New issues pop up all the time, said Washington Elementary Secretary Cheryl Swaney, who has been helping with planning and fundraising for the project.

“One of the gym teachers just told us we have a spike sticking up next to the soccer field, so we need to fix that today,” she said on Thursday. “We have boards missing from picnic tables, we had swings busted this week and the city just fixed that. Everything we do is just putting a patch on it.”

Some of the playground equipment dates back to 1969, Swaney said.

The hope is to break ground on an updated playground as soon as the school year ends in 2018.

Stewart said the Marietta Kiwanis Club is providing $25,000 on its own and other grants are also coming in. Those at the school have also been fundraising.

“Although this is a playground used by the school, it’s a public playground on city property and it’s open to the whole community,” Stewart said. “We would love to have people support us by voting in this contest.”

The winner is determined solely by the number of votes cast, from now through May 31. The link to vote is although the site can also be reached by going through the Kiwanis of Marietta Facebook page and clicking on the Legacy Contest link.

Plans for the playground are still being determined, said Swaney. On the wish list is a walking trail along the property, an enhanced picnic area and more swings.

“That’s something the kids absolutely love and ask for,” she said.

The design will likely be three-tier in order to make use of sloped space that currently is wasted, with several sections raised a few feet and the path making the site ADA-compliant.

Stewart said there has been discussion about giving the playground a theme, such as the Northwest Territory, although no plans have been determined.

“We could have equipment with nice greens and browns and instead of metal separators, it would look like sticks,” she said. “We could even have a sternwheeler. It would be something to really suit Marietta.”

How to help

¯ Visit to cast a vote for the Marietta Kiwanis Club.

¯ Votes will count now through May 31.

¯ A vote can be cast once a day from each computer or device.

Source: Marietta Kiwanis Club.