By Mandi Kindhart-White
Daniel’s Park, which is just off of W. Hwy. 54, recently got some upgrades to its playground equipment.
City Clerk Brandie Gay stated, Daniel’s Park was chosen for the update because it was the only park out of our four parks that did not have a playset. Before the upgrades, it had three toddler swings, a slide, four regular swings and a Yogi Bear seesaw. Some of this equipment was old and had to be replaced.
The City of Vandalia teamed up with Pike County Economic Development Authority and applied for a Solid Waste Grant in late 2019 to aid with this project.
Competition for the grant is tough, and the city was declined for that year. With the help of PCDA, the city applied again in 2020 and was granted $10,000. The stipulations for receiving the Solid Waste Grant were that the playground equipment must be made from recycled plastic and that it would promote recycling throughout the community.
“Street Superintendent LeRoy Schlueter and I discussed and researched recycled playsets for weeks, knowing we needed to give not only the community options but also (options for visitors) passing through (town),” Gay said. The ‘Panther’ playset was chosen not only because it was made from recycled plastic but because of the many activities children can use it for, and at a good price. Plus, Gay explained, “It is handicap accessible,” explained Gay.
The playset includes: a rock wall climber, gears, 4 feet of rope net, a vortex climber, a duo wave slide, underneath benches and a chime panel. The city also chose to purchase a standing seesaw to add to the play area. This, too, is made out of recycled plastic. Gay said, “LeRoy and I thought this would be another nice addition to the park. The city received the playset and seesaw in late June and it was set up in late July.”
The cost for the upgrades was $20,927.83, which included shipping. Using the $10,000 Solid Waste Grant, the city paid $10,927.83 out of its Jordan Waters Fund, which was budgeted at $11,000 for the updates to Daniel’s Park.
Gay said, “I became the City Clerk in 2018 after the passing of the former city clerk, Karen Shaw. I want to carry on the passion for the community and the city parks they way Karen would have done.”