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Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Penny for Parks Projects on the Move

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 19, 2012
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                  802.735.7962  

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Penny for Parks Projects on the Move
Joined by Parks and Recreation Officials, Children and other Community Members
for Grand Re-Opening of Appletree Park Playground

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced that his push to get Penny for Parks (PFP) projects moving again is showing results.  Weinberger and officials from Burlington’s Parks and Recreation Department, and community members, including many children from the Burlington Kids after-school program and the New North End’s Strathmore neighborhood, cut a ribbon to officially re-open the new Appletree Park playground, a just-completed Penny for Parks (PFP) project.  The Appletree Park playground represents the seventh of the 30 PFP projects that will be completed by December 2013 as part of the Mayor’s plan to catch up on the backlog of important community parks projects.

On a beautiful fall day, Mayor Weinberger stated: “I promised to be a Mayor who got stuck and stalled projects moving again.  It’s great to be here today surrounded by our children to kick-off the grand re-opening of this fun and exciting new playground.” 

The Appletree Park playground is the culmination of extensive community and City collaboration, with Parks and Recreation staff, working closely with members of the Strathmore Neighborhood Association.  Together, these groups selected a diverse array of engaging equipment to replace the aging playground structures.  The new playground equipment meets all new national parks and recreation playground safety standards.  It also includes new and exciting features such as a “Mount Hood” Climber, a “Skywheel,” an “Overhead Glider,” a “Climber Twister,” and a new double slide. 

The community members and children who participated in the grand re-opening expressed excitement about the new playground.  “The new playground at Appletree Park not only will be the focal point of my young children's lives, but also of all the children in our neighborhood for generations to come,” said Sarah DeShaw, Appletree Point mother of three boys, ages six, five, and two.  “The thoughtful collaboration among the Parks Department, the City of Burlington, and our community members is a source of great pride for me and all those involved in this project.  This playground is a symbol of community members daring to dream and then working together to make that dream a reality.”

“This project is an excellent model for parks and community engagement,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jesse Bridges.  “Our staff worked diligently with community members in the design and implementation of the playground structure including engagement with the Wards 4/7 NPA and the City Council, including Ward 4 Councilor Dave Hartnett.  We also leveraged operations and maintenance staff to stretch our Penny for Parks dollars. The Strathmore Neighborhood Association’s financial gift to this project also shows the impact of philanthropy on the Parks program and the ability of public and private partnerships to get things done.”

Penny for Parks is an annual funding plan for parks capital improvement projects.  Established in 2008, it was approved by voters as a parks improvement fund and is supported by a dedicated tax.  PFP is a short and long-range financial planning and project implementation tool developed to address community needs for the ongoing improvement of parks facilities.  Through this process, the Department is able to schedule the implementation of improvements over time and better able to identify phased funding strategies.

A full community outreach and ranking process was established in the spring of 2012 to get the stalled program moving again, resulting in an aggressive 30-project plan to be completed by December 2013.  Fiscal year 2014 projects currently are being reviewed and ranked by Parks staff for approval by the Parks Commission.

Please see the following attached documents:

 

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