An excited crowd was on hand and cheers were heard as the ribbon broke away at the newly renovated Mingo City Park. A project 10 years in the making, the park features new swings, play set, toddler playhouse and many other amenities ready to be enjoyed by everyone in town.
Doing the honor of cutting the ribbon were the kids of Mingo who had already started enjoying the park. From taking a turn down the slide to spinning on the merry-go-round, it was obvious each one was having great time.
“The original idea came from a group of parents and community members, who decided to form the Mingo Parks and Recreation Committee,” organizer Emily Perry said. “The first improvement we did was to install a handicapped-accessible swing.”
Along with Perry, a “very large group of people” worked together as the Mingo Parks and Recreation Committee along with the Mingo Hometown Pride organization to make the new park a reality. From hosting community events, fundraising among businesses and citizens and writing a variety of grants, the group raised more than $65,700 for the project.
“We started fundraising in 2009 and have slowly been able to do the renovation in phases,” Perry said. “In 2015, we installed the first round of playground-grade wood chips, in 2017 we installed our large play set and in 2019 we finished the rest.”
From outdated and dangerous to bright and inviting, Perry said the work done extended beyond just new play equipment.
“Safety improvements of the playground (include) grade wood chips, fencing, accessible wood chip border ramp and an expanded play area,” Perry said. “(There is also a) new larger showcase pay set which replaced a piece of equipment originally from the Mingo School, a new larger swing set with more wings, a new accessible swing and a “baby and me” swing.”
Those improvements along with the toddler playhouse train, new water fountain with a bottle filling station and boulders for natural playscape completed the park. Those behind putting in the labor to take pieces of equipment and make them into a playground include Mingo Parks and Recreation, Mingo Hometown Pride, Mingo Products, Inc., Adult and Teen Challenge of the Midlands, Koester Construction and Liberty Concrete.
Many organizations, businesses and citizens also contributed financially to the project with the biggest contribution coming from the Jasper Community Foundation at $17,500. Additional funds at $5,000 or more were given by the Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant, the City of Mingo and the Mingo Development Corporation. Others who helped make the park a reality were Geisier Penquite Foundtion, Key Cooperative/Land ‘O Lakes, Mingo Men’s Club, Halfill Insurance, IMT Insurance, MidAmerican Enegery, Mingo Women’s Auxiliary, Mingo Book Club, the Altes Family, the Van Hauen Family and the Oberhart Family.
“So many people have poured hundreds of hours of volunteer time into this playground and we are incredibly excited to see it finished,” Perry said. “There has been an outpouring of community support and compliments from visitors, and we look forward to the joy it will bring to our residents and visitors for years to come.”
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org