Re-imagining Pioneer Park Playground updates
HARLAN — The existing Dream Playground in Pioneer Park is being re-imagined. Due to the stress and fatigue the playground acquired over the last 27 years of being well-loved, it is being rehabbed to ensure its safety.
Currently, there is not an all-inclusive playground in Shelby County. The re-imagined playground is designed to be inclusive of all ages and abilities, which includes those with special needs. Some new features include a rubberized safety surface, ramps throughout the playground, wheelchair height equipment, an adaptive see-saw and other sensory components.
“I am excited that Harlan will have a playground suitable for all,” grant committee chairperson Connie Claussen said. “It will encourage friendships that might not otherwise form.”
The expected cost of this project is $1.66 million. Half of those funds will be going toward playground equipment and surfacing and the other half will be used to implement more parking and a bathroom next to the playground.
Due to the size and magnitude of this project, it will be completed in phases. Phase I will be the construction of the new equipment and fall protection. Phase II will include a new restroom adjacent to the playground and a new parking lot.
Some of the original wooden structures will be incorporated into the new playground. A donor recognition wall will also be installed as a thank you to all who make the re-imagined playground possible.
The City of Harlan is spearheading this project.
“This project is important for the community because it provides an opportunity for members to come together and work towards a common goal,” committee member Jahde Osborn said. “It will be so rewarding to see a brand new park in such a focal point of our community and know that so many of us had a hand in it through hard work, funds, ideas and more.
Donation checks can be made payable to the Dream Playground Project and mailed to 711 Durant Street, PO box 650, Harlan, Iowa 51537. Gifts over $1000 will be permanently recognized at the playground. Donations are tax-deductible.