Community comes together to build playground

Published 8:55 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

A playground is taking shape at the YMCA of Chilton County as community volunteers assemble pieces under the leadership of Ray Genter with Hammer Down Outdoor Creations.

Some members of the team have construction or landscape experience. Others just want to lend a hand to see the project completed.

The project is scheduled to be finished on Nov. 2.

The playground equipment was purchased with funds from a Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS)/ KaBOOM! grant, Alfa Foundation, Clanton Lions Club, Shelby Baptist Medical Center and Baptist Health Foundation.

Several groups are also represented in the 80 people putting in the time contribution to assemble the playground, including Central Alabama Electric Co-op, First United Methodist Church, Grace Fellowship, Kiwanis Club and Shelby Baptist Medical Center. Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon and Chilton County Schools Superintendent Tommy Glasscock were also a part of a crew on the first day.

“I am so excited, after all this work that we are actually (constructing it),” Lori Patterson, YMCA of Chilton County director, said.

Having community partners assemble the playground that had been created was a requirement of the grant. Patterson said it helps community members “have a little bit of ownership in it, to know that they are making a difference in the community.”

Genter divided volunteers into groups finding the best place for everyone.

Volunteer Rebecca Corley said she wanted to participate because she is part of the Y.

“This will benefit the community greatly,” Corley said. “It’s fun to be a part of it.”

She said she also thinks her children will enjoy it.

Corley was a part of the team working on the monkey bar section of the main structure.

“I think it’s a wonderful playground that they are building that will be great for the kids in the community,” Volunteer Taylor Hatchett said.

Hatchett also helped with the monkey bar portion of the equipment

” It will be a fun way to get kids exercising and active, where they really won’t even realize they are exercising and getting that benefit, but they will be having fun at the same time on super safe equipment that will have lots to offer,” Hatchett said.

Some volunteers, such as Josh Smitherman, also brought helpful equipment.

Smitherman, who does landscaping, brought a machine for digging the post holes for the playground supports.

In addition to children who are a part of YMCA activities, children at the Clanton Housing Authority, which does not have a playground, will also be frequent users of the equipment, according to P