Flocking to a good cause

City to rebid resurfacing for Possibility Playground as group launches flamingo fundraiser

THE FIRST FLOCK of flamingos to descend on a lawn in Port Washington landed in front of Shirli Flack’s house on Grand Avenue. Organizers hope the flamingo flocking — a fundraiser for Possibility Playground, which will be getting some new equipment and a surface in September — will raise $5,000. Announcing the project recently were (from left) playground committee members Stacey Berg, Sue Mayer, longtime playground supporter Shirli Flack, Mardy McGarry and Amy Olsen. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press Staff

Possibility Playground in Port Washington is getting a facelift this fall, and the Board of Public Works last week took a major step forward for the project.

The action comes even as the Possibility Playground committee moves forward with a “flamingo flocking” fundraising program to finance some of the improvements to the play area.

The Board of Public Works agreed to seek bids for a new surface for the playground, something previously approved by the Parks and Recreation Board.

State statutes require the board to approve the bidding, Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven explained.

The surface is “expensive,” Vanden Noven said, noting the city has budgeted $200,000 for the work.

Bids for the project have already been sent out, Vanden Noven said, adding they are due on July 23.

A special meeting of the board may be needed to review the bids since the Common Council will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 6 — before either the Board of Public Works or Parks and Recreation Board meets next, City Administrator Mark Grams said.

Possibility Playground is celebrating its 11th anniversary, and after visits by thousands of children  the play area in Upper Lake Park that’s accessible to children of all abilities is showing some wear. 

The resurfacing is just one of the many improvements that will be made. A formal entryway with a Loch Ness Monster climbing structure will be added, as will a merry-go-round that’s accessible to all children, a courthouse clock tower replica and a replica of the Veterans Park bandshell.

The Possibility Playground organizing group is raising $250,000 for the upgrades, and is about $60,000 short of that goal, said Melissa Niemeyer, who’s heading up the flocking fundraiser.

“I’ve already gotten a lot of requests,” she said. “We’re hoping everyone has a good sense of humor and has fun with it.”

The flamingo flocking fundraiser allows people to pay $20 to have a flock of 12 flamingo lawn ornaments placed on someone’s lawn for 48 hours. A note on the door will let the recipient know who they’ve been flocked by, although the donor has the option of remaining anonymous.

People can also purchase insurance for $30 that ensures they don’t get flocked again.

People often flock one another for special occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries, Niemeyer said.

The committee has four flocks of flamingos ready to be dispatched in Port and Saukville, and the fundraiser is expected to run through August and perhaps into September, she said.

The goal is to raise $5,000 with the flocking, Niemeyer said, adding committee members are still soliciting donations and sponsorships from businesses and organizations.

“This is our last big push, and we’re trying to not just raise money but awareness,” she said.

The new playground structures will be built from Sept. 23 to 28, and the group will be signing up volunteers to help with the build beginning at the end of the month, Niemeyer said.

The surface of the playground is expected to be removed in early September, Vanden Noven said, with the new surface placed in October.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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