Pierz Community Comes Together To Save Park
For 28 years, the American Legion Park in Pierz was a place to go and have some fun. But the future of the playground was unknown after an act of vandalism closed the park in May.
“Somebody had thrown a rock through one of the slides, and because the park was so old, we were not able to replace just the slide,” said City of Pierz Deputy Clerk Kari Tyson. “Unfortunately, we had to replace the entire structure in order for it to be able to be safe for children to play on.”
With no room in the budget for this kind of upgrade, the community thought the park might remain closed for quite some time.
“When the vandalism first happened in May, we were looking at probably not being able to replace the park until we had budgeted for it, which would have been after the first of this new year,” Tyson said. “We were looking at into the spring before we were going to be able to start construction on the playground.”
Instead, it’s the end of November the new playground is already up and running.
Although the final numbers aren’t in quite yet, the city estimates the project costs somewhere between $25,000-$30,000 with that support coming from the National Joint Powers Alliance and the community.
Kari called the NJPA just days before their fiscal year ended, taking advantage of a $2,500 Small Project Partnership grant for both 2016 and 2017, totaling $5,000.
“NJPA has a program that if you purchase through them and their vendors you get a percent back in rebate dollars,” Tyson said.
This added approximately another $5,600, and the local Lions Club, Legion and Knights of Columbus added to the total.
“Pierz is a very tight knit community, and we are all about community support,” Tyson said.
It’s this community support that saved the park.