In anticipation of the official opening of Schneider Park in southwest Bexley this spring, the Bexley Recreation and Parks Department is recruiting volunteers to build a community playground March 29 and 30 at the site.

Schneider Park is the first addition of park space in Bexley since the Jeffrey Mansion and Parks were deeded to the city in 1942, according to the department. Schneider Park is in the Ferndale Place/Mayfield Place neighborhood off East Livingston Avenue.

After environmental remediation was completed last year, the city began developing athletics fields in Schneider Park.

In addition to the $290,000 from the city's Recreation Fund, the Schneider Park athletics fields were developed with $100,000 previously allotted by the city, an $81,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and an $81,000 grant from the Bexley Community Foundation, said Michael Price, recreation director.

The city has purchased playground equipment for $78,519, with $65,000 coming from the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation and the remainder from city funds.

"The grant was instrumental to not only having a playground," Price said, "but a playground with really nice components that the community will enjoy."

Food, drink and music will be provided during the playground build, Price said. Staff from Penchura, the company from which the department purchased the playground equipment, will be on hand to guide volunteers through the construction.

"We're doing four-hour shifts of four volunteers at a time," Price said. "You don't have to have any experience building playgrounds. All you have to do is show up and have a good time."

Having volunteers participate in building the playground not only saves money, but promotes a spirit of community, Price said.

"There are a lot of benefits to it. From a cost standpoint, it allows us to do more with the budget than spending it on installation," he said. "The idea of bringing the community together and investing time and energy into it is a major benefit of doing it this way."

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony for Schneider Park will be held at a date to be determined, Price said.

To volunteer for the playground build and for more information, contact Price at 614-559-4300 or mprice@bexley.org.

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