December 9, 2023 at 11:22 a.m.
To the Editor,

Longville’s playground needs your help


By Beth Tobiason, Longville | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Longville’s beautiful park and playground is already over 11 years old and it’s time for some updates. In 2012 the idea for a park was developed because of the closure and sale of Longville’s elementary school. An interested individual bought land just south of St. Edward’s Catholic Church and had it graded and prepared for a small playground with swings and a slide grouping. Over the years additional land was secured, trees were added and more equipment was purchased, bringing the playground to what it is today. With the support of many generous Longville organizations and private donors, improvements were made to the surrounding park. This brings us to 2021 when I (Beth Tobiason) came to the playground with a child who has Autism. When the child had a hard time engaging with the equipment, I wondered if there were other children in the area who felt left out.

   I began talking to other families in the community with children who had various challenges. I looked to others in the community and asked why they did not bring their children or grandchildren to the playground. The answer was easy, they did not feel welcomed because they were unable to access the equipment. I then approached the City Council and the Park and Recreation Committee to ask permission to look at ways to enhance the playground so it can serve individuals of all abilities.

   After much research into vendors, land use, history of the playground and finances, a desirable plan has been developed and approved by the Parks and Recreation Committee. The goal is to provide for minor expansion of the playground, add an adaptive swing, upgrade the slide station, add sensory panels, and a merry-go-round for individuals with mobility concerns. Another important enhancement is the addition of some new ground cover so adults and children can access the playground. Some benches will be added and a picnic area.

   Why do we need the improvements? Have you ever felt left out? Not welcomed? It is important that our community do everything we can to be welcoming and accessible to all. Longville relies on tourism and some of our visitors are children and adults with challenges. The proposed changes will enhance play for children and will also help adults who have mobility challenges so they can play with their children and grandchildren and feel secure in their movement around the playground. Why are these improvements important? So everyone can belong!

   The Parks and Recreation Committee is currently in the fundraising stage for this exciting project. They are seeking donations from government agencies, county, granting organizations, businesses and the public. If you would like to help in the dream of making everyone feel welcome to our community, to feel included, please consider donating to this important project. The City of Longville is the financial representative for the project. Donations can be sent to: City of Longville, Box 217, Longville, MN 56655

   In the memo please write Playground Project. If you have any questions you can email the team at: [email protected] or call Beth Tobiason (763) 670-7002 or Colleen Moravek (612) 749-4777.


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