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Celebrating a community playground build

Many hands made light work: Painting the locomotive on Sunday afternoon

Phew! The last 5 days were a whirlwind of activity that concluded with the completion (well, almost) of the new Cedar Hill Park playground. Some finishing touches remain: hooking up a few more swings, installing the waves around the new pirate ship (you’ll have to see it to understand), hanging some plaques in the castle and the pirate ship, and putting a protective coat of polyurethane onto various decorated surfaces.

Jerry Creasey (Anderson County Commission member) designed the wildcat that hangs over one of the slides, but it took a village to paint it and install it on the last afternoon of the build.

I was pleased to be able to make it out to the build site every day as a volunteer. I didn’t work on the 1988 build (I was the mother of an infant), but my family enjoyed the playground over the years, so I figured it was my turn to build for another generation. It turned out to be fun — not only were we converting a lot of very raw material into a fun place, but working together with other citizens was a great opportunity to reconnect with old acquaintances and get to know people I hadn’t met before. I worked on several bits and pieces of the playground — making slats for the suspension bridge, helping to make a “vertical ladder” (not to be confused with horizontal ladders), painting primer on several surfaces that were later decorated by more artistic folks, making plaques for kids to decorate (the plaques are being placed around the low perimeter wall), painting the train station and locomotive in the toddler area, plus a few other things. Teamwork — and good direction from the Leathers company — makes the various pieces come together.

Oak Ridge loved the old Cedar Hill Park playground, but I predict that kids are going to tell us that the new one is even better.

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