FALCONER - A 10-year restoration project in Falconer Park is finally complete.
As part the many ways the Falconer Rotary Club gives back to the community in which it exists, a decade-long, $597,000 restoration project on Falconer Park has concluded.
"The project started about 10 years ago," said club member Janet Wahlberg. "Buzz Vanstrom was the original chairman of the group, with the idea to renovate the park. It turned out to be roughly a half-million dollar project by the time it was complete."
New playground equipment was installed in Falconer Park during the third stage of work handled by the Falconer Rotary Club.
P-J file photo
The project began in the spring of 2003 and was designed to unfold in five stages.
Stage one of the project saw changes to the infrastructure in order to improve drainage in one section of the park, a general cleanup of the park and re-roofing and upgrading of the electrical service to the three pavilions.
"We (worked on) the pavilions, re-roofed them and upgraded the wiring for the pavilions and the activities building," said Wahlberg. "As part of stage two, we altered the route of the road so children wouldn't have to cross the road to get to the playground. We felt this was very important as the playground used to be encompassed by road."
As part of stage three, new playground equipment was installed and old, hazardous facilities were removed as well. A walking path was installed as well, including lighting for the path. Unfortunately, a few of the lights have since been vandalized. However, according to Wahlberg, many have said how much they enjoyed the path regardless.
Unfortunately, much of stages four and five have been set aside due to lack of funding. The Rotary Club had intentions of installing brand new restrooms at the park as well, but the cost of construction would have been difficult to finance, and the current bathrooms are still functioning.
The final upgrade to the park made by the Rotary club is an upgrade of the bridge at the park. Once again, the Rotary club wanted to install a whole new bridge, however politics and cost restraints resulted in the club refurbishing the original bridge.
"This whole project happened thanks to participation from the Johnson Foundation, Community Foundation and the Sheldon Foundation," said Wahlberg. "The project simply could not have happened without their help."
On Aug. 23, there will be a barbecue chicken dinner, as well as a ribbon-cutting grand reopening ceremony held at the park. The dinner includes chicken, two sides, and a roll. Drinks will also be available.
Tickets are available for purchase at the Brian Nelson's Falconer Vac Shop for $8 each. The event begins at 4 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m.