East Ridge Park, Splash Pad design shared with residents
EAST RIDGE, Tennessee (WDEF)- An East Ridge resident says that a project that brought the entire city of East Ridge together 25 years ago, is now being revitalized.
She’s referring to the Pioneer Frontier Playground and it’s getting an upgrade.
Fred Wiechmann Vice President of Marketing and Product Development for Gametime says,”what they did 25 years ago to build a community that was focused on the family experience and we are getting to revitalize that now and create a whole new experience 25 years later.”
The city of East Ridge will invest $500,000 and a state grant will match that.
Wiechmann says, “Game time and Playcore, our real role here as a company is to facilitate the community’s dream and we can really make that a reality. We take all the input from community members, the parks and recreation department, from any stakeholders that have a part in this and figure out what is the most important thing for the community. W make that vision a reality.”
Community members have been apart of the process since the first park was built in 1994. Now people like Debbie Colburn says she is not only looking forward to the improvements, but opening the time capsule they buried.
Colburn, the general coordinator for park 25 years ago, remembers “most of us saying I hope I can bring my grandchildren, that we didn’t have then and now we all have grandchildren who will get to be here for that.”
For now, there are a few more signatures needed before demolition of the old park can begin.
Amanda Bowers, the city’s community involvement coordinator, says, “right now, we are in the process of getting the contract from the state. They had to do an environment document and that gets signed by several different agencies to basically get their approval on what we want to do so when we have that in hand, we will start ordering the equipment. We will start planning to break ground and have all these other things to involve the community and then hopefully before too long, we will have a grand opening for the park and splash pad.”
Colburn says, “it was very important for us then and now, that kids have a free place to come and have fun and it looks like it’s going to be a great opportunity for families to do that.”
She says right before the meeting she “walked over through it before coming over here and I had the biggest lump in my throat, but I will tell you what it was one project that brought the entire city of East Ridge together 25 years ago”
Officials say that that this park will have area for the parents to actually PLAY with their children instead of just watching from the benches.
Wiechmann says, “we want mom to get in and play on the playground so we’ve opened up the space to where there is something for everyone to do. Again no matter what your ability level, you will be able to get on the rock and raft, go on the swings. And mom will not just be sitting on the bench but mom will be chasing the kids through the playground.”