September 3, 2014

Playground project underway in Deep River Twp.

James Kuch
This model shows what the playground may look like. The playground will be located at the Deep River Township Park.
By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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DEEP RIVER TWP. — Children from Deep River Township and all across Arenac County may have to opportunity to enjoy new, state-of-the-art, playground equipment in the near future.

Deep River Township Parks and Recreation Committee Chairperson Cathy Wilk, said the playground system will be safe for children and will allow for easy visual access for parents.

“The equipment will be set up in a way where parents can see all the way through it,” she said. “That way, if parents are at a baseball game at the park, they can look over and see their children. This will also limit bullying and keep people with ill intentions away from the children.”

Wilk said the playground is expected to be completed in three phases. Phase one of the project will be a playground set called Evos. Wilk said the unit is designed for children ages 5-12.

“We wanted to target that group of children first because they are the most diverged in the electronic era we are in,” she said.

Wilk said phase one’s estimated cost is $97,000, and will be complete by July of 2012. She said donations for phase one have already surpassed $45,000.

“We have received a number of private donations, and received (two percent Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribal) money that was given to Deep River Township,” she said. “It’s wonderful to have a community stand behind us.”

Phase two of the project will feature a playground for children ages 2-5 called Wevos, and will also include the construction of two open pavilions. Phase two’s total cost is approximately $30,000.

Phase three will be the construction of two new ice rinks for around $10,000, which Wilk said will be a nice addition to the park.

“I remember being a kid, skating and hanging out around the campfire, singing songs,” she said. “It would be nice to see a place for children to do that now.”

Wilk said the committee wanted to build the park as a way to fight childhood obesity.

“In Michigan, over one million children are obese,” she said. “We needed something to compete with the electronic age that our children are in.”

Wilk said the township board was willing to help the process after she and other committee members went to a township meeting.

“We were thinking about building this in the Village of Sterling,” she said. “But the township board told us they would like to have it here.”

Wilk said she believes the community will benefit from the new playground.

‘This is not just something for the local community,” she said. “We want this to be a place for everyone in the area. I think this will be a wonderful asset to the county.”

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