Donations needed for all-inclusive playground in Marquette

File photo of existing Kids Cove playground at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette.
File photo of existing Kids Cove playground at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette.(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 5:09 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - An upgrade is underway for Kids Cove playground located at Mattson Park in Marquette.

After 25 years of climbing, swinging, tugging and running, Director of community services for the City of Marquette, Jon Swenson, said the equipment has run its course.

“There’s a few things structural wise that if they were to degrade too much further we might have to take it out and we definitely wouldn’t want to do that without a plan to replace it,” Swenson said.

The replacement is Kids Cove 2, an all-inclusive playground, but in order to get the upgrade Marquette Playgrounds For All needs help from the community.

A grant for $300,000 was approved by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund on Friday. Chair of Marquette Playgrounds For All, Nheena Weyer Ittner, said the organization is going to match the contribution through donations.

Currently, they are still in need of about $220,000. The plan is to start construction by Summer 2021 if they meet the $600,000 goal.

“There will be a whole host of different things that people can latch on to and give to something that I think is going to be a treasure in this town,” Ittner said.

Donations can be sent through the website.

The all-inclusive playground would grant access to everyone including the elderly population and anyone who has special needs. It will be one of few in the Upper Peninsula.

“If you can imagine using a walker or a wheelchair to try and get through wood chips or engineered wood fiber, such as what you see on a lot of playgrounds, you can imagine that’s like trying to pedal a bicycle with a flat tire,” Swenson said.

Ittner said the playground will be built by the community, for the community. The project must be completed by Summer 2023.

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