RUTLAND - White's Park is home to a popular and well-maintained
pool as well as tennis and basketball courts. But one thing that
has been missing in recent years is a playground on-site. Seven
years ago, the city removed wooden playground equipment because of
safety concerns and it was not replaced.
However, Tuesday, July 2, the Rutland
Recreation and Parks Department announced that the City of Rutland
has received a reward from the international charitable program
called Let Them Be Kids. The award will match funds raised by
donations and also provide a coach to make sure money is spent as
efficiently as possible. Let Them Be Kids is an expert at building
playgrounds in areas of need; the Canadian based organization has
overseen 160 projects in North America since 2008.
Rutland was chosen as one of the 30 recipients
this year amongst the hundreds of applicants. "It really says
something about our city when both the citizens of Rutland and
international organizations believe in Rutland," said Mayor Chris
Louras speaking at White's Park Tuesday. "I'm thrilled that we
received such a competitive award."
Perhaps the most impressive part of the
planned development is the fact that this playground will be built
in one day. Similar to a barn-raising 100 years ago, this project
will be a demonstration of community involvement and volunteerism.
Not only will community members be hands-on participants but they
will also have their say in the design process. In the next month,
local children will be asked for ideas on how the playground should
look and then vote on the new features. The city plans to include
some adaptive elements as well.
"We want to build an inclusive playground that
can be used by all children, no matter their abilities," said Cindi
Wight, Rutland's recreation director.
The big "Build Day" is scheduled for August 8,
2013 from 1-8 p.m. For more information on how to volunteer, make a
contribution or to receive more information, visit
Rutland.letthembekids.org or call 802-282-1092.