The swings and other playground were installed, but a final push remains for Zumbro Ridge Estates as the mobile home cooperative seeks to fill a funding gap.
"The children that lived here at Zumbro Ridge Estates picked out this exact playground on Aug. 6, 2018, at our first National Night Out," said Allie Lechner, the cooperative's volunteer operations manager. "The funds to pay for the playground have been donated."
The cooperative, which has been touted as an alternate path toward affordable housing, has been raising funds for the playground for more than a year.
So far, $54,500 of the $64,000 for the equipment has been raised, and the group has an anonymous donor willing to provide a $3 match for every additional $1 raised, according to Lechner.
That leaves the organization looking for nearly $2,400 in donations to fully fund the project.
The need comes at a time when the cooperative is working to fill empty spaces to generate funds for other work on the grounds.
The park had 31 vacant lots when the cooperative was formed in 2017 after the previous owner announced plans to sell the park.
"We now have 18 lots left," Lechner said. "Ten new homes are sold, with one here left to sell. We have two other homes coming in November that are sold."
Lechner said the new families arriving to live in the homes point to the need for the playground, which needed to be ordered in June to secure a major portion of its funding. The cooperative has a month to fill the gap.
Anyone can contribute to a special Zumbro Ridge Estates account at First Alliance Credit Union, which has been designed for funds that must pay for the playground equipment.
Donations can also be mailed directly to: Zumbro Ridge Estates at 739 55th St. NE Lot 4, Rochester MN 55906, with a note dedicating the funds for the playground..