CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A Charleston playground built in the 1990s is getting a new look. It will be more accessible, modern and have added safety features. It is a park that has been around for generations.
Wednesday project leaders received a $20,000 grant to help with the overhaul.
“We know when you have nicer newer places that upgrades the whole neighborhood,” said Tom Heywood, with the Kanawha Valley Council on Philanthropy and a West Virginia American Water Board Member.
Heywood watched his kids enjoy Celebration Station when it was originally built. Being there for the presentation of a $20,000 grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation and West Virginia American Water brought things full circle.
“As someone who brought his kids here almost 30 years ago and just knowing how much fun it was for them and for me when I did that, I just can’t wait for the next generation of people to use this new park,” he said.
The “Keep Communities Flowing” grant will help the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation give the beloved park an upgrade.
“It’ll be handicap accessible and just with new safe equipment all over,” explained Dr. Michelle Foster, CEO of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. “We are really excited to make it happen.”
Along with fresh play areas, there will also be a focus on keeping crime away.
“Over the years from time to time there have been issues with inappropriate use of the park and safety concerns. I give great credit to the Charleston Police they’ve maintained that,” Heywood said. “The fencing has been built and the newly imagined park is built with those considerations in mind.”
Project leaders hope that improvements to the park will ripple across the east end.
“I think it is really building that sense of community, building social capital in the community and it is really a project that is so visible and I think it will be an exciting project for the community to see come alive,” said Foster said.
Volunteers will also be pitching in to help with the renovations in the months to come.