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Incredible COMMUNITY playground

September 21, 2010 - Erin O'Neill

So it isn't often that I write two blogs in one week (OK, never), but when I feel the need to speak my mind, my fingers start twitching and immediately head toward the keyboard.

My fellow reporter Ashley Hill wrote an article in today's paper about the state of the Incredible Community Playground. Being that my child plays on this equipment several times a day, I couldn't weed through the nameless, faceless comments on our site and not say something.

The issue is whether or not the dilapidated structure should be repaired, replaced or done away with. There doesn't seem to be an easy fix. But it seems to be an uphill battle in this community to get anybody to do anything together for the betterment of our children, especially if it's going to cost money.

There have been suggestions on this most recent story of businesses working with the city and the school (it is on school property) to donate or provide goods or services. OK. There's one suggestion. I was in Telesis. I worked on the skatepark project. I know how generous people can be... I also know how stubborn people can be. Still, it's a start.

Also, how about CDBG money? Is this not an eligible project? I think it might be too late this year but it might be worth contacting Mike Stocky in the city development department, no? Are there other grants available? Am I the only one asking these questions?

Another suggestion from a commenter is to just tear it down and let the kids find somewhere else to go - a typical response in this area that I am really getting tired of hearing!! This is the only playground at the school, one of the poorest schools in the community. Are you really telling me these little kids don't deserve to have somewhere to play at recess when every other school in the district has a playground?!?

Norwood area kids are the ones playing on this playground during school, after school and on weekends. I could be wrong, but I doubt that kids from Harmar Hill, Oak Grove or Devola are coming into town to play on the Incredible Community Playground on a regular basis. So it is Norwood's issue to deal with. But it is also used and often abused by older kids, sometimes even adults, because of its location. Regular supervision of the park might have served as a deterrent for some of the vandalism. Still, old wood is going to rot.

This playground was built ages ago. I might have even been in high school. It seemed like a good idea at the time, regardless of whatever motivating factors might have been at work. (Personally I like to believe that it was proposed as a Telesis project to benefit the kids of the community, but what do I know?) 

But this is my awesome neighborhood and this is my kid's school and those are my reasons for wanting to do something. I know we are more of a working class neighborhood and a lot of parents work their tails off and have little to show for it. But the lack of nickels in our pockets should not deter us from getting involved and letting our voices be heard over those who have no stake in the matter.

I've been to one PTO meeting since my child started school. I plan to go to others. I encourage other Phillips parents to attend and get involved. The next meeting is Oct. 4. 


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