Playground project in full swing

LEWIS - A community effort to rejuvenate the town playground in Lewis is steadily climbing toward its goal.

The Town of Lewis Playground Committee has been working since January to raise funds for the purchase and installation of new equipment at the site, located at the corner of Route 9 and Osawentha Lane.

With about half the needed funds now raised, the committee is hoping to draw plenty of area residents to some upcoming events to benefit the project.

As Lewis town supervisor David Blades explained at the committee's first meeting, continual maintenance to keep the aging playground equipment safe was becoming troublesome.

"The Town Board agreed it should be improved," Blades said in January, "even to the point of saying 'improve the playground or do away with it.'"

The playground committee quickly formulated a plan to update the playground, creating separate areas for toddlers and older kids with new swings, slides, climbing walls, sand box and a two-table picnic pavilion, but the price tag totals about $30,000.

"For years, everybody has wanted something different at the playground that's going to appeal to kids of all ages," said Dina Garvey, chair of the playground committee. "It's really going to be something I think everyone in the town is going to benefit from."

The town already had more than $7,200 set aside in a dedicated Parks and Recreation fund, and a $1,000 grant was awarded from the Stewart's Shops Holiday Match program. Still, the committee was going to have to rely on donations and other grants to make their plan a reality.

Most recently, the Lewis Fire Department donated $1,676 to the project, it's share of the proceeds of their annual Fish Fry fundraiser at the Wooden Nickel. Adding in donations from other local businesses and organizations, the committee has accumulated nearly $15,000.

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