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Volunteers restore equal access park in Idaho Falls

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Jun 21 2013 08:12:34 PM CDT

Concerned volunteers worked all day pumping new life into the park.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

The Idaho Falls equal access playground near Tautphaus Park looks completely different than it did only a month ago.

Local News 8 & KIDK Eyewitness News first told you about the deteriorating conditions at the only area playground for kids of all physical abilities and now, the community has restored it to its former glory.

Broken latches on the swings and cracks in the slide were putting the lives of the hundreds of kids who visit the playground in danger.

Concerned volunteers worked all day pumping new life into the park.

"All of the vandalism and the slides falling apart, we decided we needed to do something about it," said Reva Nickelson, a volunteer.

It's hard to forget the images of broken equipment and graffiti covering the equal access park but today, volunteers painted a new picture.

"A lot of people don't like the graffiti, just like myself and the crew that was here today," said Nickelson. "We had 80 or more people here today and more coming later this afternoon and even more coming tomorrow."

Nickelson spear headed the clean-up project. She said sometimes, even the most simple task can make all the difference.

"Here, there was a lot of garbage on the rubber but as you can see, it's all cleaned up now," said Nickelson.  

The mural in the park was covered in graffiti. Luckily, the original artist came from Utah to re-paint it.

The musical instruments were also replaced.

"Unfortunately, a lot of these mallets had been stolen and taken off," said Nickelson. "Welch Engineering ordered some new ones and installed them today so kids can play the instruments. This is all wheelchair accessible in this area."

Volunteers also took out the rubber pit in the corner of the playground, where they're hoping to put up a new shelter and even more instruments for the kids.

Work at the park isn't done just yet; one of the slides and the climbing wall are still pretty damaged.

The good news is both parts were under warranty. The city ordered replacements which just arrived, and they'll hopefully be installed soon.

Nickelson said the playground clean up was truly a communit yeffort.

Apart from the volunteers, many local businesses donated money, equipment, and labor to help restore the park.

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