The sun was shining last Thursday afternoon as a group of Polk City residents gathered on the square to celebrate the completion of a children’s playground project that should hopefully serve as a bright spot in the community for years to come.
“When my kids were younger and growing up, you could tell it was spring when you could get back on the square and play,” said Chamber President Desiree Pliler. Pliler said this past winter, she was excited for summer to come, “knowing kids would have somewhere to go to” and play on the square.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” said John Calhoun, director of the Polk City Development Corporation (PCDC). The PCDC formed a square committee in September of 2015, and one of the ideas was to renovate the square playground.
Calhoun shared that this playground renovation came with a price tag of $78,000, which required collaboration and support from various partners.
Prior to cutting a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the project last Thursday, Calhoun took a few moments to present plaques to the major supporters of the project.
The first plaque was presented to Polk City Mayor Jason Morse, who accepted it on behalf of the city, which contributed $42,000 to the project.
The second plaque was presented to Bruce Boland, who along with his wife Terri, donated $30,000 to the project.
The third plaque was presented to Kiwanis President Rob Mordini, who was joined by some of the other Kiwanis members in accepting it. The Kiwanis club donated $5,000 to the project.
The PCDC contributed the remaining $1,000, Calhoun said.
All donations to the project were run through the Polk City Community Foundation, and the foundation’s president, Mary Miller, was recognized and given a few minutes to speak about the foundation’s activities in the community.
Morse thanked the Bolands for their willingness to get involved in the project. Calhoun said that the Bolands have made a great impact in Polk City on this and other projects. “To me, this is one of the nicer things we’ve gotten done, because it’s a beautiful playground and always full of kids,” Calhoun said to Bruce Boland. Boland, while not a native of Polk City, has pretty much adopted the community and made investments in its betterment. He said he is willing to put time and money into the community, because he has family and his own children and grandchildren living here.
Morse said he was pleased that the Kiwanis club was able to be part of the project. He also gave special thanks to the city’s public works employees for their role in helping with the project.
Morse said he’s been told that the playground can withstand a lot, but he did say he recently got concerned when he saw some kids being a bit rough with it. Hopefully, all ages will respect the playground and the work that it’s taken to bring it to completion. For the little ones of Polk City and their parents, it’s a great thing to have a new playground and new, safe play equipment.
“There’s rarely a time you drive by that you don’t see kids playing on it,” Morse said.