Friday, September 24, 1999

Playground lesson in unity

Price Hill volunteers get to work

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Put your hands together and say playground.

        That is the spirit spreading through Price Hill as more than 2,000 volunteers have joined the Thousand Hands Project to build a playground at 3300 Guerley Road in the Dunham Recreation Complex.

        Neighborhood volunteers will join with representatives of United Way/Community Chest, Life Success Seminars, the Price Hill Civic Association, Cinergy and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission (CRC) to build the 12,000-square-foot playground.

        “It is similar to the one built last year in Mount Washington,” said Jess Parrett, director of CRC's Community Planning and Information Division. “We requested proposals from neighborhoods that wanted playgrounds. The commission selected Price Hill last September.”

        CRC is helping to finance the playground with a $50,000 donation. The rest was raised by the community, including donations from local businesses, said Rick Whitte, a board member of the association.

        “We conducted fund-raisers, sold tickets and asked for donations to come up with our share of the $200,000 project,” Mr. Whitte said. “We were able to get mulch, sand, lumber and tools donated by businesses.”

        Peter Whitte, president of the civic association, said it took a lot of planning. “But once the word got around, a lot of people volunteered,” he said. “We will probably have about 2,000 volunteers and probably could use more. If you come (Wednesday to Sunday), bring your work clothes,” Peter Whitte said.

        Crews began unloading mulch, lumber and sand this week in preparation for the kickoff at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

        “We plan to be finished Sunday afternoon (Oct. 3) and hope to have children playing,” Mr. Parrett said. “This is like an old-fashioned barn raising.”

        Mr. Parrett said an architect took the playground plans to students at St. Teresa, St. Williams and Carson Elementary schools to get ideas.

        “Not only did they make suggestions on what they wanted in the playground, but they conducted a penny drive and collected 500,000 pennies,” Mr. Parrett said.


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