Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:35 am
One-third of Americans assert that there are not enough playgrounds in their community to serve the number of children who live there, a belief confirmed by neighborhood residents, clergy, small business owners and officials during the building of Mount Pleasant’s Community-Oriented Policing House.
When asked what issues impacted their area, those individuals identified the lack of green space, parks and playgrounds for children as a critical issue.
To address that problem, Racine-based SC Johnson is providing a $275,000 grant to construct a new playground across from the new COP House. The site will be cleared and readied for construction over the next few months, and the playground is scheduled to be completed in late spring.
The playground will be named after Racine Community Outpost founder and former Racine police chief Dick Polzin, whose vision served as a model for Mount Pleasant’s first COP House. COP is an engagement strategy designed to create positive and frequent interaction between a COP officer and the local residents/businesses in the area.
“SC Johnson is proud to support the construction of this new playground as it marks another positive step in the area’s revitalization efforts,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of SC Johnson. “It is also a great honor to be able to recognize Dick Polzin in this way. His dedication and service to the community will continue to be celebrated by families and children spending time at this playground.”
The playground, which will be built on three parcels of land at the corner of 23rd and Mead streets, is intended to become a natural extension of the COP House, serving as the site for neighborhood programming involving children.
Upon completion, the playground will be donated to the village of Mount Pleasant and become part of its park system. Mount Pleasant’s parks and recreation board will manage programs and maintenance in the future.
“We are truly excited to have this playground as an addition to the Mount Pleasant park system. It creates a year-round natural play area for children–where there wasn’t one previously. Our plan is to utilize this in combination with the new COP House to offer coordinated activities for kids in the neighborhood,” said Terri Maier, chairperson of the Mount Pleasant parks and recreation advisory board.
Racine Community Outpost worked with playground designer Bob Collins from RGC Design of Plainfield, Ill., to develop a plan that included ample green space for creative play and an activity area with playground equipment for various ages.
The entry into the new recreational area will lead directly to the playground, with a path leading to a park shelter. An open lawn with a hill will serve as an area for children to run, play and sled. The primary play structure will offer swings and multiple slides at varied heights with a number of climbing features.