Mud, wind, rain and cold temperatures did not deter the group of volunteers who wanted to begin installing the new Weissport Playground.
Members of Concerned Citizens of Weissport, Weissport Council members and volunteers trudged through the mud as early as 6 a.m. Saturday as they began constructing the playground that has been a dream of many for many years.
Volunteers had to forego using power tools because of the steady rain, which also hampered having most of the equipment installed in one day.
The new state of the art playground is set on the same property that had been used as a playground for Weissport children since the 1940s and recently had held some of the original equipment until last year when it was dismantled and sold.
The site is across the street from the former Weissport School, which has been a private residence for nearly 40 years. Much of the equipment of the circa 1940 playground was considered unsafe by today's safety standards.
The new playground will have the latest and safest equipment available. It is also ADA (American Disabilities Act) approved and will also have other safety features, such as tire mulch and child friendly equipment. The playground was designed with children ages 5 to 12 in mind, but there will also be an area for toddlers.
Tammy Solt, member of Concerned Citizens, said that the new brightly colored playground has three slides, climbing wall, chimes, bug panels, balconies, bounce buttons, a seesaw, a dino ride and flutter-by spring rider, a tetherball post with a ball, a toss-up, swings with 10 inch high seats, two belted seats, a handicapped accessible seat and a tot seat. There will also be a picnic table for outdoor dining and a bench. The tot lot will feature similar equipment but smaller models for children ages 2 to 5.
The cost of the playground is estimated at $60,347. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) provided a grant of $48,000, plus Concerned Citizens of Weissport raised $10,000 over the course of many years, plus the group received $2,000 from a donor who requested that the funds be used for recreation. The borough provided the balance that was needed, noted Shannon McAward, council president. She estimated that approximately $2,000 of borough funds were used toward the cost of installing the playground.
The cost of drilling and layout of the playground cost $2,480.
By the end of the day, volunteers were wearing shoes soaked through to the socks and many had mud-streaked pants. Lowell Hartzel was project manager. Building the playground were Arland Moyer Sr., Lynette Moyer, Duane Dellecker, Lanna Tracy, Sue Pywar, project coordinator; Pete Pywar, Chuck and Roberta Steigerwalt, Shannon McAward and Klye George, Rusty Schoenberger and Linda Schoenberger, Tammy Solt, Bob Maholick, Dennis Moser, Ted Highland IV and Theo Highland V.