By Brad Barker, Vinton Parks and Recreation Department

We are excited to announce some plans for improvements in our area parks, as well as fund-raising efforts to help cover the costs, along with a new website: www.playvinton.com, which includes complete information about the project, pictures and the opportunity to contribute on-line.

Farewell Riverside Castle, Hello Play Vinton!

In April 1993, a number of enthusiastic volunteers and park staff came together over the course of three days at Vinton’s Riverside Park to construct what would become the much beloved River Castle playground structure. This classic wood playground quickly became a town favorite and has witnessed several generations grow up in its lookout towers, on its slides and under its tire tunnels. As the years have progressed, our treasured River Castle has endured a lot of chilly winters, soaking rains, brutal summers and countless hours of playful children! Sadly, the River Castle has now exceeded its life expectancy and has naturally deteriorated to a point where the time has come for it to be taken down. The deconstruction phase is set to begin the week of October 9th to prepare for a new chapter of play.

Play Vinton Project

The Vinton Parks & Recreation Department is very excited to announce the launch of its ‘Play Vinton Project’ campaign and seeks to raise funding in order to bring three exciting, new destination-type PLAY amenities to our community! Our goal is to create inviting social play spaces where families can regularly congregate and children can let their imagination run wild. The three projects planned is a Splash Pad at Kiwanis Park as well as the Riverside Tower Playground and Natural Playscape at Riverside Park. More information and pictures of all these projects along with how you can donate to help make these play dreams a reality can be found at our project website playvinton.com.

Splash Pad, Kiwanis Park (Phase 1): $225,000

It’s time for some splish-splash fun in the sun! Children of all ages will love the excitement that 20+ spray components will add to their summers! With longevity and adaptability in mind, this 3000+ square-foot zero-depth pad will be constructed so that spray components may be added and interchanged annually to guarantee a fresh and superior splash experience. A timed, participant-activated component on the pad ensures the spray features are only utilizing water when you are. Additional funds raised beyond our goal will go towards adding extra spray features!

Riverside Tower Playground, Riverside Park (Phase 2): $125,000

The beloved 25 year old wooden castle that provided countless hours of enjoyment for park attendees over the years has naturally deteriorated and must be taken down. However, in its place, we’re raising the bar for heightened play experiences…literally! Vinton’s new destination playground will feature a super-duper, double-decker tower (20-25’ tall) complete with slides, climbers, bridges, swings and all sorts of other interactive and thrilling components. Kids know PLAY best so we this it’d be cool to hear what they like too. Local elementary students will have the unique opportunity to Build-A-Playground by voting on their dream standalone play pieces…and we’ll take care of making it a reality!

Natural Playscape, Riverside Park (Phase 3): $30,000

Vinton strives to be one of the first communities in the state to feature a natural playscape destination where the play attractions are made almost exclusively from natural components. Grassy mounds with slides and climbing walls built into its embankment, webbed bridges, tunnels, climbing boulders, footbridges, stump hopping, mazes and more will help children experience the wonder of nature and love of the outdoors through imaginative and educational PLAY! In keeping up with the idea of conservation, wood salvaged from the Riverside Park Castle structure will be utilized in the construction of the play area that will be located just west of the Riverside Tower Playground.

Getting Involved!

The fundraising goal to complete all three projects is $380,000 and depending on how swiftly this goal is met, VPRD plans to begin construction in Spring 2018. At the time of this campaign launch, $100,000 for the Splash Pad and $82,000 for the Riverside Tower Playground has been raised. This puts us nearly halfway to our total overall goal! Please consider a financial gift to help bring these play dreams to life and to invest in our community’s youth! Donations of all sizes will assist tremendously in creating enriching areas for youth, social hubs for families and buzzworthy play destinations for Vinton!

More information on all of these projects, giving levels and the ability to contribute online can be viewed at PLAYVINTON.COM. Project brochures and donation cards can also be printed from the website, mailed to you by request, or picked up at the Vinton Recreation Center. Please call the Vinton Parks & Recreation Department at 472-4164 or email vprdbarker@vintoniowa.net with any questions you may have. Thank you for your consideration!