York City park gets $9K renovation with help of donated funds, labor and supplies

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch

A rundown York City playground on Cottage Hill Road is getting a $9,000 facelift — largely because of donations from local businesses. 

The renovation of Little Jimmy's Park is the latest project for the volunteer committee Bring On Play, which identifies a park in need to renovate each year. 

About half of the project's cost was donated by C.S. Davidson, a local engineering firm, said Tom Landis, York City superintendent of parks, recreation and sanitation. 

C.S. Davidson has been part of the city's "Angels of the Parks" program for more than 10 years, Landis said. 

When Landis reached out, he was hoping the firm would donate time from a few volunteers, he said. 

"We didn't come with our hands open," he said. 

To Landis' surprise, C.S. Davidson donated $4,500 toward the project.

President and CEO Kerryn Fulton said the company is happy to donate both money and labor to help rebuild small parks such as Little Jimmy's that help the overall improvement of York City. 

"All the little pieces are coming together," she said. 

In addition to donating half the funds, several C.S. Davidson volunteers came out on Friday, Oct. 26, to help with the playground installation.

Even the CEO was getting ready to get her hands dirty in mulch on Friday.

Donated supplies: C.S. Davidson's donation wasn't the only one that helped bring the project cost down. 

General Recreation Inc., a playground equipment supplier, donated about $1,000 in wood chips, Landis said. 

York Concrete donated all the concrete, cutting a couple of hundred dollars off the overall cost, Landis said. 

The remaining funds for the project don't come out of taxpayer dollars; Bring On Play raises funds through private donations and grants throughout the year, Landis said. 

"Standing before us is a brand new playground for city residents, at no cost to them," he said. 

Improvements: The playground hadn't been updated in more than 10 years, and much like technology, the playground industry is constantly phasing out equipment, Landis said.

The city couldn't replace broken parts — making it not only an eyesore but also virtually unusable to the community, he said.

"We had a park that wasn't too nice looking, wasn't even functional," Landis said. "Now, people can walk right out their back door to a playground."

Little Jimmy's Park is a young children's playground; it's a place where children ages 2 to 5 can play in an intimate space with their caretakers, said Joe Stein, chairman of Bring On Play. 

During the renovation, the playground was shifted on the small park's grounds. Previously, the playground was closer to the street and cars, Stein said. Now it sits a little farther in, creating more of a buffer from traffic, he said. 

This is the seventh playground Bring On Play has renovated since the group formed in 2008. 

In addition to improving the city's look, renovations also help promote an active lifestyle for children and parents, Stein said. 

Playgrounds also play an important role in a child's physical, emotional and cognitive development, Landis said. 

The renovated parks also draw more families into the community, which helps the overall city improvement by displacing "bad things," he said. 

Future goals: Little Jimmy's Park will open for the public in a few weeks, as the concrete sets. 

Bring On Play is planning talks in the next few months to identify a 2019 project. 

The committee is also revisiting past projects and trying to rebuild a stronger presence in the community, Stein said. 

The group is always looking for more volunteers and committee members, he said. Those interested can contact Stein at bop@yorkcity.org.