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Creating east side park an ambitious project

October 9, 2009
Tribune Staff Report

The Rugby Jaycees chapter has shown a lot of ambition to take on the tall task of creating a park on the east side of Rugby.

For one thing, parks are expensive. Playground equipment can run into the thousands of dollars. Add the costs for benches, a picnic shelter and restrooms, and it goes up significantly.

Parks are also expensive to maintain. Grass needs to be mowed. Trees need to planted, watered and occasionally pruned. And parks need time to mature. It takes years for trees to grow.

Despite all of this, parks are important to the community. They provide beauty and a setting for play and rest. The city has developed a few nice parks already, but its apparent the next one to be created needs to be on the east side of town, and here's why.

-The two most widely-used parks - Ellery and Southside - are both located on the west side of N.D. Highway 3.

-And while there are playgrounds at Ely Elementary and Little Flower School, which are east of the highway, they lack green space.

-There are remnants of what was referred to as Eagles Park along Country Road just east of Haaland Estates. However, the playground equipment is outdated, needing repairs and the playground is on private land.

Parks provide a safe area for children to play, and there is no such place presently on the east side, and that's why the Jaycees are committed to establish one.

The organization is working with the Rugby Park District on developing the park. The location would be south of 7th St. S.E. near the north side of the walking path bridge. The park district owns the land and has agreed to help maintain a park there in the future.

For now the Jaycees is pursuing grants and fundraising toward the costs to purchase equipment and eventually add more amenities.

It may take a year, or two, or five or longer for a park to be developed, but the ball is rolling, and the Jaycees deserve credit for recognizing the need, and taking an active role in this project.



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