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Northwest Salmon

 

NEWS

Volunteers hope new park will

spark positivity in community



by Amanda Fanger
sports@reporterandfarmer.com

With the construction of a new park in Roslyn, volunteers hope it will spark a bit of positivity in the community after the town has been hard hit with challenges in recent years.

“There have been quite a few comments about, ‘why Roslyn?’” said volunteer Spencer Huggett. “My response is, ‘why not?’ The town has to have something to attract younger families. We’re hoping to put a bright spot in the community.”

In 2010, the community was forced to close their school and when that building was sold and the playground equipment removed, the town was left with no public space for children to play. The lone church in town closed in 2014 and the lone bar burned the next year. Then, the community experienced the loss of a community member to violence last fall.

“We’re just trying to create a positive spot in town. We just want to make a difference,” Huggett said. “It’s been refreshing and good to see, after work when you drive by here, six to eight kids playing on the equipment. We’ve started getting lots of compliments.”

When the centennial committee began planning their 2014 celebration, they knew right away they wanted the proceeds to go towards new playground equipment. In addition, Huggett applied for as many as 15 grants – many of which were denied. He continues to apply for more.

The project really got a boost earlier this summer when they were awarded a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield in the amount of $25,000. Other grants and donations have been received from Wal-Mart, Day County Community Foundation, the city, the Community Advancement of Roslyn and Eden organization, the centennial committee as well as personal donations. In total, Huggett said there’s been about $50,000 invested so far.

The land for the park was also donated; the sandbox and equipment there was donated; the Langford School industrial arts students donated a wooden train set. Huggett said they’re currently waiting to hear back from another grant application which would pay for a restroom and basketball court. Space has been laid out on the grounds for a community garden with half a dozen or so plots. There is also a set of elaborate playground equipment and a picnic shelter.

After being in the planning stages for nearly two years and the town going five years without a playground for kids, the park began taking shape this spring. Construction started in April.
“It’s just nice to see something new going up in Roslyn, something positive,” said volunteer Danny Kjos as he wielded a shovel Aug. 24 and helped build concrete molds for the sidewalk path.

All the labor has been donated. Huggett said there’s been about a dozen steady volunteers; notable individuals include Danny Kjos, Mike Holler, Troy Sattler, Kelly Hanson, Sheldon Huggett and Josh Wagner, who designed the layout of the park.

“This is only possible because of a lot of the volunteers in town (who have been working on this project),” Huggett said. “I’m a big believer in people, negative or positive, can have a big impact on their community. But the only way you can make a difference for good is if you make an effort.”

A name for the park has not been settled on, but Huggett said they’ve tossed around the idea of calling it Viking City Park, after the school mascot.

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