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From left, Stella Christenbery and Maddie Brown take in the warm sunshine while playing on the monkey bars during the official reopening of the Foscoe Grandfather Community Park on Friday. Jesse Campbell | Mountain Times.

Originally published: 2013-07-15 10:34:36
Last modified: 2013-07-15 10:34:36

Foscoe playground reopens after renovations

by Jesse Campbell

The sounds of laughter and children playing in the warm summer sunshine have returned to the Foscoe Grandfather Community Center Park.

While the park's playground has remained open since its construction in the late 1980s, the equipment has fallen in to disrepair, deterring local children.

Realizing its potential impact on the sparsely populated border community, two employees from Grandfather Mountain's naturalist department embarked on a mission to revive the rusted playground equipment and overgrown play area.

Education specialist Jullian Goodwin said chief naturalist Katie Gray said that by undertaking the project, they would also earn their North Carolina environmental education certification.

The park renovation began in April and continued in May with a community clean-up event.

"The No. 1 reason we chose this project is because we saw its potential in the park. If you build it, they will come again and again," Goodwin said.

They soon added new swings, a stump jump, tire snake, sitting area, replaced missing ladders and laid a new surface of mulch at the playground.

"It was awesome," Gray said about the community's level of support and enthusiasm. "I'm still talking to people about the cleanup day. I can't believe how many people showed up. We got so much accomplished."

By Friday afternoon, several families had gathered at the park to celebrate the reopening as fleeting glances of sunshine came and went behind the clouds.

"The community support," Goodwin said. "That's the biggest thing I've taken away from this project."