By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – Warsaw continued its practice of upgrading at least one playground park every year, with the latest upgrade being at Beyer Park Tuesday morning, Aug. 2.
New equipment at Beyer Park, on the south side of Pike Lake, includes stations suited for younger and older children.
The brightly colored play stations include equipment with a springboard and interactive panels.
The entire foundation of the playground has a cushiony 16-inch bed of engineered wood fiber chips (not mulch) that the city uses at all playgrounds to help reduce injuries from falling.
Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer said the old playground equipment had been in use for some 27 years.
Plummer said the equipment cost about $50,000 and that the park’s staff assembled the playground, saving upward of $30,000 on installation costs.
Improvements also include two new benches that were donated and installed next to the playground.
The benches were donated to the city by the family of Calvin and Bertha Warner, who lived less than a block from Beyer Park for decades. Their family often held reunions at Beyer Park and would host auctions each year to cover the cost of catering for next year’s event.
But with the pandemic, reunion plans were canceled and the family ended up with a bundle of money they decided to use for a different purpose.
“We decided we would buy these benches for the park in this area where the family grew up and have all these memories,” said Marsha Schmitz, who attended the event with her sister, Wendy Kimpel.
Plummer and Mayor Joe Thallemer thanked the family for their donation before the ribbon cutting.
“It’s really nice to see something good come out of COVID,” Thallemer said. “Thank you so much on behalf of the city. These are lovely.”
Plummer said families and children quickly took note of the improvements.
“It’s been a hit,” Plummer said. “We’ve had kids on it all weekend.”