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A park for the east side

By Staff | Apr 8, 2010

An idea will become a reality later this spring for the Rugby Jaycees.

For the past year and a half the local chapter has been raising funds and applying for grants for a new park on the east side of town, receiving a big boost recently in the form of a $50,000 Otto Bremer Foundation grant.

“We’re so excited that this project is moving ahead this year,’ said Tonia Dosch, Jaycees president, and member of chapter’s park committee. “It’s been a lot of work, but we’re thankful to get the support from the Bremer Foundation and from other businesses and individuals.”

The chapter has been working with the Rugby Park District in planning a park to be located just south of the intersection of 6th St. S.E. and 7th Ave. S.E.

The chapter has already placed an order for about $90,000 in playground equipment and has set May 13-16 as dates when the equipment will arrive and be assembled.

“We hope to get volunteers willing to help us install the playground,’ Dosch said.

Park officials have indicated the next park to be developed in the city would go on the east side, and in close proximity to the city’s walking path.

However, the costs to purchase playground equipment, build restroom facilities and the time to search and apply for available grants were big hurdles to clear.

The Jaycees decided to make it a pet project and a committee which included Dosch, Danielle McCabe and Jessica Fritz was formed to begin fundraising ideas and look into available grants.

Initially, the chapter thought about restoring the Eagles Park located along Country Road. However, when it was discovered the park was on property owned by the hospital association, the Jaycees decided to pursue developing a new park.

A suitable lot was located that was near the walking path. Dosch said fill dirt will be hauled in to help create a more level area for the playground equipment. The chapter is also looking at putting up a picnic shelter there.

The park district has agreed to maintain the park and set aside funds restroom facilities, possibly to be installed next year. Trees and bushes will also be planted to create shelter and beauty to the park.

For now it’s referred to as the east side park, but more than likely it will be named after the organization that took the initiative to see it become a reality.

And that would be a fitting gesture.

“We sure hope (the park board) will allow it to be named after the Jaycees,’ Dosch said.

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