Gone are all the little noses pressed up against the fence at the Weissport playground.
The roll of orange caution fencing that has kept youngsters out of the play area since construction began has been taken down.
No one could be happier than the Weissport Recreation Committee, which has waited many weeks for the wire embedded mulch to be removed.
Lowell Harzell, who installs playgrounds for Playworld Systems, was at the playground site on Friday to supervise workers Matt Dove and Craig Hershey in removing the old mulch. On Monday, workers were back to relay the ground cover and fill in the play area with new, safer and much spongier mulch, which does not have any wires protruding from it.
"It's been a long time coming," said Arland Moyer, Weissport Council member, who was at the site to observe the workers.
Tim Rehrig, council president, was also on site. "I'm glad it's finally getting done."
Dennis Moser, Weissport borough worker, and a grandfather, said he couldn't wait to finish the project.
"I want to install the bench and picnic table," said Moser. "I know my grandchildren can't wait to play."
Moser explained that he also has a bike rack and walkway to install before the playground officially opens.
Building of the playground began last October when volunteers worked in the rain to start the project.
The problem with the mulch wasn't discovered until this past spring. Volunteers thought they were almost done, they found wire embedded in chunks of the rubber mulch.
Council member Sue Pywar had informed council in September that George Ely of George Ely Associates, Inc., the company that provided the playground equipment, was planning to correct the situation "
Ely promised that the work would be done at no cost to the borough of Weissport.
The new playground is set on the same property that had been used as a playground for Weissport children since the 1940s. Much of the old equipment of the circa 1940 playground was considered unsafe by today's safety standards.
The new playground has the latest and safest equipment available and is also ADA (American Disabilities Act) approved. The playground was designed with children ages 5 to 12 in mind, but there also is an area for toddlers.
There are three brightly-colored slides, a climbing wall, chimes, bug panels, balconies, bounce buttons, a seesaw, a dino ride and flutter-by spring rider, 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.
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.
Rehrig said that a formal dedication program will be held in the near future to officially dedicate the new playground.