19FamilyTime column/MD twj

The kids in Chatfield need a playground. And the adults (and kids) in Chatfield are determined to build it. The Tree Top Towers playground project has been in the works for two years, a partnership that includes the 30-member Park Partners planning committee, Leathers & Associates, the city, the city’s elementary school students (they helped create the playground design) and plenty of volunteers. The finished product — an 8,500-square-feet, handicap-accessible playground complete with a tot lot and big kids area, Root River rapids slide and a mini Main Street featuring downtown Chatfield storefronts — will be built on the same spot where the old playground equipment stood.

"Our previous playground was very old and very run-down. Some of it had been there for more than 50 years and was very unsafe," said Julie Fryer, Park Partners public relations chair. "Our hope is to create a new playground that’s a fun, safe place for kids and their families to play."

Rain or shine, construction of the playground is slated to finish up this weekend. Volunteers (ages 10 and older) are still needed — no skills necessary, tools provided. Free lunch and dinner, compliments of area restaurants, churches and service groups. Childcare available (must be potty trained).

Fryer invites your family to come out and help build the playground. "It’s going to be a really neat event," she says. "It’s going to be lots of fun, and best of all you’ll get to see the playground come to life right before your eyes."

Family Time is written by Lindy Lange, editor of


If you go

What: Help build the new Chatfield playground

Where: U.S. 52 South and Fourth Street, Chatfield

When: Volunteers will be working 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday with a playground grand opening at 5 p.m.

Phone: 867-3128, Michelle Folken, volunteer coordinator

On the Web: www.parkpartners.cgrein



l More family calendar — Page C2.

Playground facts

l Want to give? For just $25, your family can purchase a personalized fence picket. The fence will surround the new playground. The proceeds go toward the playground costs.

l Want to help out? Volunteers will meet at Rochester’s Soldiers Field playground at 8 a.m. each day to carpool. They’ll return at 5 p.m. Not highly skilled with a skill saw? That’s OK. There’s plenty of other volunteer work to be done, including painting, sanding and more.

l Kids can volunteer too. Youth ages 10 to 13 must work alongside their parent. Youth ages 14 to 17 can volunteer independently but may not use power tools.

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