With hopes of breaking ground this spring, the Fountain Foundation, in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Marietta launched a new fundraiser with C & C Dodge Toyota for the proposed Northwest Territory Community Playground project.
The current playground, located next to Washington Elementary School and the Washington County Public Library in Marietta, has safety hazards and land issues, including rusting equipment, broken fencing, poor drainage and crumbling steps, said project chairwoman, Marcia Stewart.
“The Fountain Foundation was started a few years ago and saw the need for a playground renovation,” said Stewart. “Since Kiwanis is all about supporting and nurturing the children, I took on the playground project as Chairman during my term as Kiwanis Club President because Kiwanis wanted to navigate a project.”
The Kiwanis Club of Marietta donated $25,000 towards the the $1.5 million project in May of 2018, which was matched by Kiwanis International in an online contest. “Kiwanis will continue to support this project through completion,” said Stewart. “That being said, this is a community playground and it will take the support of the entire community to break ground by May 28th this spring.”
The new playground will undergo a complete renovation, from the ground up. More than adding new equipment, to utilize maximum space the area will be constructed in three levels with accessibility in mind. More than just accessible, the playground will also be inclusive. The playground equipment is specialized for a variety of play opportunities, from swings and a see-saw with backs for support to musical instruments and activity panels for quiet play, as well as equipment that promotes physical development. There will also be a sidewalk around the perimeter that can be used by wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers.
When completed, the entire community will be able to walk through this beautiful site, play sports, and stroll around the perimeter of a new walking path.
“The playground will benefit the community by creating an attractive, safe, and all inclusive new space for play that will be themed to represent the history of Marietta,” said Stewart. “When completed, the entire community will be able to walk through this beautiful site, play sports, and stroll around the perimeter of a new walking path. We will be able to expand the children’s play adventure and be able to create healthy exercise while having fun and socializing with other children.”
“Currently, there is no playground in our area that is an all-inclusive play area,” she said. The committee is planning to spend over $440,000 on the playground equipment, playground turf, basketball hoops, soccer goals, swings and areas of interactive play. “$70,000 of that price will be designed for the physically impaired.”
“We constantly hear that visitors with children do not want to settle here because there is nothing to entertain the children,” Stewart said. “We hope that the new playground will help improve the economy of our area as the new playground sparks an interest in our city.”
So far, the committee has raised almost one third of the $1.5 million, and anticipate receiving another third through grant funding. To help with the final push, the Fountain Foundation partnered with C & C Dodge Toyota to host a raffle giveaway. All proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Northwest Territory Community Playground project.
For every donation of $100 made to the Playground, donors will receive one chance to win their choice of a new Toyota Tacoma SR5, a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, or a Toyota Sienna LE 3.5L from C & C Dodge Toyota. Extra chances are given for each additional donation of $50.00. The raffle will run through May 27th, with the drawing on May 28th. More information and entry rules and regulations can be found on the project website.
The Fountain Foundations hopes the new playground will do more than offer space for physical activity; that it will activate the mind and imagination and encourage problem-solving and teamwork. To learn more and find project updates, visit the NTC Playground website.