East Ridge Park Renovations

Ready To Go!

Some 28 years ago, the Pioneer Frontier Playground in East Ridge was a “happening place.”  It was constantly packed.  With adults AND kids.

But the “old girl” started to wear down.  That’s why the city decided to do something about it.

News 12’s Dave Staley tells us how it all turned out, in tonight’s edition of “More To The Story With Staley!”

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When you cut a ribbon, it usually means you’re dedicating something.  That’s what East Ridge City Mayor Brian Williams and a number of important people in East Ridge did Saturday morning.
Honoring the new and improved Pioneer Frontier Playground!

DAVE STALEY, NEWS 12 NOW;

“This little park was built back in 1994, and the city certainly made good use of it.  However, as is the case with many things, it simply got old.  It needed a facelift.”

Ask and ye shall receive!  The city was able to secure a 500,000 dollar grant.  And then matched it with 500-grand of its own money.

A million dollars….and voila!  Just like new.  Debbie Colburn was the playground coordinator back in 1994!

DEBBIE COLBURN, 1994 PLAYGROUND COORDINATOR;

“The contractors told us back then it had a lifespan of about 20-30 years.  We thought that’s pretty good.  So it wasn’t surprising when things started to wear down.  I think what surprises me the most is that 25 years went by so quickly!”

Work on the new park actually started back in 2019.  But mainly because of COVID-19, there were a lot of delays.

Still, the city marched on.  The end product reveals the passion of those involved.

Just about everything is new.  There’s a splash pad that will open this summer.  New slides, new swings.  Plus, it’s accessible to kids with special needs.

Mayor Williams says it was all done, while keeping the original committee from 1994 in the loop!

MAYOR BRIAN WILLIAMS, EAST RIDGE;
“We involved them in this design.  We had committee meetings.  We had them engaged from the very beginning.  They put their heart and soul into this.  And we wanted to continue that effort.

The city also kept the kids hand-prints from back in ’94.  Students from the high school routed those hand-prints into the wooden fence that lines the front of the park.

Just another indication, of how much this little “slice of heaven” means to the folks in East Ridge.

The park actually opened to the public two weeks ago.  It’s not a private park.  It’s open for anyone to use.  And it’s free!

Categories: Local News, More To The Story With Staley