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‘People In Action’ seek volunteers for DeWitt playground build

— After two years of writing grants, gathering donations and coordinating volunteers, the Town of DeWitt’s People in Action program is gearing up to build a brand new playground at the Springfield Garden apartment complex on June 22 and 23.

Springfield Garden, home to 254 children, has been without a playground since the removal of an old structure that no longer met safety requirements. People in Action and the management of Springfield Garden have been working together for years to provide a new, safe place for the families in Springfield to play.

“We are so proud and excited to receive this grant award,” said People In Action Director Christine Manchester after receiving a $15,000 Let’s Play Playground Construction grant in July 2011. “The children and adults of Springfield Garden will greatly benefit from the positive aspects this playground will bring to the community.”

Manchester said many businesses and community members have contributed time, money and/or resources to the project including Devin Sherman, owner of Integrity Masonry Division Corp.

Additionally, the Central New York Community Foundation donated $7,000, the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation donated $7,000, Longley-Jones Management Corporation gave $5,000, and the Town of DeWitt committed $5,000 toward the new playground.

The new structure will be located behind the David G. Klim Learning and Recreation Center, which opened in April 2008 through the efforts of Springfield Garden, the Town of DeWitt, and People in Action. The Klim Center now serves more than 100 children in its pre-school and after school programs each year.

“The playground will help us provide a more holistic learning environment,” said Megan Ball, one of the after-school coordinators. “We can now offer a physical learning experience in addition to the educational enrichment already available at the center.”

Volunteers are still needed for both the prep day — Friday, June 22 — and the build day — Saturday, June 23. The prep day will include many projects such as sorting and inventorying materials, pre-assembling parts of the structure, digging the foundation holes and working on benches, peace poles and other small projects. The build day will involve the construction of the playscape as well as any finishing touches on the side projects.

Breakfast will be served starting at 7:30 a.m. and work starts promptly at 8 a.m. Lunch will also be provided both days. Food, construction material and safety equipment donations are still needed. Any excess monetary donations will be placed in a maintenance fund.

Anyone interested in volunteering or making a donation is asked to contact the Town of DeWitt Parks and Recreation Office at 446-9250 ext. 9 or the David G. Klim Center at 218-7291.

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