Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
MAQUOKETA (KWWL) -
This week, hundreds of volunteers in one eastern Iowa community have come together to complete construction on a playground in one city park. The city of Maquoketa began construction on Little Bear Park September 10. The construction of the park included a playground that needed updating. The first Maquoketa Little Bear Park playground was constructed in the early 1990s. Volunteers at Little Bear Park said Sunday, the playground was beginning to show its age.
Deb Lane was one of many that volunteered their time during the week to Little Bear Park.
"The park was deteriorating fairly quickly. It was built 20 plus years ago and it needed to be refurbished. As much as we tried, the city crews that worked on it did the best that they could to keep things in the best condition as possible," Lane said.
The old playground was constructed from wood and was beginning to deteriorate. The playground was also not handicap accessible. Trent Bollman is a student at Maquoketa High School and says he often went to Little Bear Park when he was a student at Briggs Elementary School.
"We always enjoyed coming to Little Bear," he said. "We had a lot of satisfaction here."
He along with many Maquoketa High School students volunteered their time in building a new playground for the park this week.
"I just hope that they have as much enjoyment of this park as we did," Bollman said.
It was the city of Maquoketa and the Maquoketa Community School District that decided to tear down the old park and rebuild. Kim Huckstadt is superintendent of the Maquoketa Community School District.
"We decided we needed to start over, and with the first process we decided to do a community build. It really brought people together and built some of that community pride that you are always trying to access," Huckstadt said.
In order to jump start the project, both the Maquoketa Community School District and the city of Maquoketa committed $75,000 each. Elementary school students helped create the new parks design. Huckstadt said the park costs $330,000 to build. So far, more than $300,000 has been raised for the $330,000 park.
"There were cookouts. Our students did a number of things for fundraisers including; hat day, saving coins and bringing them to school. We have had both large and small donations," Huckstadt said.
Donations are still be accepted for the park. School officials say minor work will continue through the rest of the week with a ribbon cutting taking place September 29.
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