Harrington Beach may get a playground

Friends of HBSP is fundraising to put equipment for children of all abilities across from the Ansay Center
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press Staff

Money from an estate helped kick start a fundraising campaign for a handicapped-accessible playground at Harrington Beach State Park in the Town of Belgium.

The idea was born out of a donation from the estate of Jeanne Hare that was to be put toward the handicapped-accessible cabin in the park.

Since the Friends of Harrington Beach State Park (HBSP) completed the cabin before the estate was settled, the board of directors decided to fund a portion of an all-inclusive playground instead.

The cabin was completed in 2015, as well as other projects the Department of Natural Resources asked the Friends of HBSP to address since.

The new project follows the park’s 2004 master plan that lists a playground in its “higher priority” category for the park. The play area was proposed in 2011 and kept getting bumped until now, secretary of the Friends of HBSP Board of Directors Elaine Stecker-Kochanski said.

“The playground is meant to be another amenity in the park for day visitors and campers and users of the accessible cabin, both adults and children,” she said.

The playground would get plenty of traffic.

“We expect that it will be used at least in three seasons, along with other park activities such as beach activities, hiking the trails, picnicking, bicycling and fishing.”

The Friends of HBSP recently decided to dedicate money from the sale of firewood, apparel and bird and bat houses toward its goal of $100,000.

Between the Friends’ money and the estate donation, $30,000 is left to raise.

The DNR requires all that all money must be raised and the project be approved by the its board before the purchase of equipment and the start of construction.

The playground would be built on the southwest end of the picnic area across from the Ansay Center.

“We hope to have volunteers to help with putting it together,” Stecker-Kochanski said.

Equipment will be purchased from Lee Recreation LLC of Cambridge, which uses Burke playground equipment.

Longtime HBSP natural resource educator Phyllis McKenzie will help select equipment that will allow access for children with disabilities.

The design includes a modular play structure that has slides, climbing elements and motion play equipment, along with several types of swings and a motion play orb rocker.

For information on donating, visit friendsofharrington.org.

Friends of HBSP is a nonprofit organization and contributions are tax deductible.

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