Playgrounds rise in Parkersburg - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Playgrounds rise in Parkersburg

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by John Wilmer

PARKERSBURG (KWWL) -- Iowa is coming together to bring outdoor playtime back to children of Parkersburg. Last year's tornado destroyed the places where students spent much of their summer months, the city's parks and playgrounds.

It has already been a hectic 24 hours of construction. Dozens of volunteers from all over the state and even from across the country have come to Parkersburg to take part.

"You never feel like you can do enough and this is one day that you can just come and spend the day and help build the community to where we were," volunteer Sandy Miller said.

The construction began at Schwartz Park, but organizers say they will also be working at the swimming pool park and the A-P Elementary.

"With all three areas combined it's a total cost of around $500,000. Through that we raised funds through a lot of donations as well as a dollar for dollar matching grant through the Miracle Recreation Equipment Company," project organizer Amy Truax said.

All of this effort is to reward the youngest members of the community who have already been through so much.

"You can tell a kid all you want. You can tell a child and say listen we're going to do this for you, we're going to do that for you, but they don't really care what you say. You got to show them," Parkersburg Police Chief and volunteer Chris Luhring said.

These parks will give families a place to come and relax and forget about the day that changed their town forever.

"We would like to thank all the people who have given money for this project, given support, given time, given donations, because without so many people coming forward to help this would not be a reality," Truax said.

"I'm just appreciative of all the blessings. The people showed up and they signed up and people brought food and they brought drinks and they brought snacks and everybody was just part of the solutions here so it's gone up fast and we're hoping it gets played on fast too," Luhring said.

Organizers hope to start at the Parkersburg pool park on Saturday.

The city of Parkersburg will dedicate the parks on the first anniversary of the tornado, May 25th.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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