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Wednesday, 24 December 2014 00:00

Canton uses crowdsourcing to improve playground

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fr cantonparkWith a focus on improving recreation options for residents with limited funding, the town of Canton is using crowdsourcing methods for the first time to raise money to make playground repairs. 

“Our playground is the only one in town,” said Canton Town Manager Seth Hendler-Voss. “It gets a lot of use, but unfortunately it is not efficient in many of the safety standards. We are making an effort to make specific improvements to bring it into national playground safety compliance.”

The town plans to add mulch, install a fencing system to prevent children from running out into the street, repaint the playground equipment, replace missing swings and replace a section of the slide that was taken down a few years ago.  

“The impetus for this project is really a concern for safety,” Hendler-Voss said. “We want to try to establish a safer and more attractive playground. We’re going to pull in the separate swing bays into the larger play area to have one centralized playground.”

The entire project will cost about $10,000, and the town is raising money through www.citizinvestor.com and collecting private donations to get the renovations started. 

The town is using the crowdsourcing website specifically to raise about $900, which is the cost of the slide repair. 

“It’s our first time dabbling with crowdsourcing, so we aren’t sure of the outcome but wanted to see how responsive people are to it,” Hendler-Voss said. 

The town has raised about $5,000 through its fundraising efforts thanks to donations from Champion Credit Union, local law firms, insurance brokers, the local steelworkers union, First Citizens Bank, Single Stop and more.

“We’ve had great civic participation so far,” Hendler-Voss said. “Our goal is to make Canton a volunteer community and challenge residents to give back to Canton, because we’re really going to need the help while trying to grow our economy.”

As donations continue to be collected, the town plans to start renovation work in early spring. To help save more money, volunteer and town labor will be used to complete the work. 

The crowdsourcing site has so far raised $155 of its $864 goal for the slide repairs. The campaign will continue for 50 more days. To make a donation, visit www.citizinvestor.com/project/canton-rec-tunnel-slide or contact town hall at 828.648.2363.

— By Jessi Stone, News Editor

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