Our View: Russom Park playground good for children, communityPublished 8:03am Thursday, March 13, 2014
While many parents are probably familiar with setting up a swing set or a playhouse for their kids in the backyard, they likely don’t have experience participating in major city construction projects.
However, local residents will soon have an opportunity to add the latter to their resume.
The City of Dowagiac is moving ahead with plans for a community-built playground inside Russom Park. The project will feature the combined might of contracted construction workers and local volunteers to assemble equipment for the new play area.
While it’s possible to take a cynical outlook and think that the city is trying to shave off labor costs, we believe the project adds a little something most major construction lacks: a sense of fun.
We believe that having the community band together to build it will give the new playground the right atmosphere from the star, as a homegrown place the whole area can enjoy. While the equipment will be standard industrial playground fare, the fact that children’s parents and neighbors will have a hand in putting it together will give the space a special feeling.
The project is yet another positive addition for the local park, which is in the process of being redeveloped under the supervision of the city and Silver Creek Township. One of the things this community could use more of is outdoor activities for children, and the updated athletic fields, walking trails and playground will provide that greatly.
The new playground will also stand out as something that the entire city can be proud of. Hopefully that will mean that there will be a greater investment to see the grounds maintained, which is an issue that historically plagues playgrounds.
The city is still determining possible dates to begin construction. When they do, we hope that the community shows up in force to help out.
After all, it’s for our children.
Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Craig Haupert, Ambrosia Neldon, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.