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Out with the old, in with the new

Volunteers work to install new playground equipment by Saturday

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:10 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:37 a.m. CDT
(Kate Malott/Daily News)
Volunteers Natalie Umsted and Jeff Holschuh, both of Newton, lent a helping hand to the Newton Parks Department on Wednesday night by helping install new playground equipment at Maytag Park. The parks department is hoping the equipment will be operational by Saturday.

Newton Parks and Grounds along with the Newton Park Board have been working on installing a new playground at Maytag Park in the exact location of the old one. After much planning and organizing, the playground is near completion and will be open to the public Saturday.

The new playground will include several new slides, swings and two separate large structures that will divide the younger children from the older ones, but the primary feature to the new park will be the multiple, individual climbing apartices scattered throughout the playground area.

Newton resident Andy Breuer is the father of three children, two 8-year-olds and an 18 month old. He is excited for the new park because of the diversity of new equipment that accommodates different age groups.

“It will be nice having a small area here for the smaller kids and as well a larger area for the larger kids on the other end and a nice set of swings in the middle so we can see all the kids from both sides,” Breuer said.

Breuer is also a member of a parks organization called Friends of Newton Parks that has been helping with the new equipment installation.

Friends of Newton Parks is a recently organized nonprofit that allows volunteers in the community an opportunity to support, promote and work within the parks, primarily with events like concerts and the playground construction.

Volunteers and board members have been working to successfully complete the project in a safe and timely manner, but they are in need of more volunteers in the installation’s final stages.

The installation and volunteer supervision has come from a private;y contracted company working with Bolland Recreation of Marshalltown. Bolland is a recreational equipment supply company that specialized in playgrounds, scoreboards, safety surfaces, shelters and pool amenities.

“We greatly appreciate all the help so far and for the help to come. There has been great community involvement with this project,” Newton Parks Administrative Superintendent Nathan Unsworth said.

Organizers are looking for people to lend a hand any time during the day today and Friday. The tasks include spreading gravel, landscaping and applying safety mulch.

The Newton Park Board had four goals in mind with choosing the most appropriate playground for Maytag Park: meet budget requirement, provide maximum entertainment, install the safest and match the natural atmosphere of the park environment.

The board’s other goal was to finish the project before the end of summer and before children were back at school.

The newly renovated Maytag Park playground is scheduled to open Saturday. The park board is slightly ahead of schedule on installation and members hope to be finished with the project by Friday evening.

For those interested in volunteering with the parks in the future, contact the Newton Parks and Grounds office at (641) 792-1470.