May Park

Brady Hamilton, 12, swings on the new swing set at May Park Tuesday evening. May Park was one of three Pendleton parks to undergo renovation over the last few years.

There wasn’t a huge crowd Tuesday night at a ribbon cutting ceremony at May Park but the observance symbolized a step forward for the Pendleton community.

The event marked the reopening of playgrounds at Aldrich Park, May Park and Sherwood Park but it was also important because it epitomized what teamwork can accomplish.

The three playgrounds at the parks were shut down about three years ago because of safety concerns.

Liam Hughes, Pendleton Parks and Recreation Department director, summed up the effort by pointing out the program to install new playground equipment was an idea developed through concerns of the general public.

The community involvement — plus the attention of city officials and the parks and recreation department — kept the program on track.

The old equipment at the three parks was in dire need of repair or outright replacement and the program moved forward with the safety of children as its primary goal.

A lot of different people deserve a great deal of credit for seeing this effort through. From city officials to ordinary residents, the reopening of the playgrounds was a true community effort and should be used as a prototype going forward.

The city paid $50,000 for the renovation but the rest of the cost was covered by grants, fundraising efforts and a match from an Alabama playground vendor.

Nice parks — with updated playground equipment — may not seem like a huge deal, but within the big picture they are vital.

That’s because seeing is believing, and when people stop off on a journey to take a look around, it is often to a park they look. A run-down, obsolete park sends the message of decay, not progress.

We all pay attention to taxes and fees, seek answers about city spending and devote attention to road repairs. Voters should put those issues to the forefront when studying the actions of government, but such items as parks can sometimes fade into the background of community priorities. They shouldn’t.

Working together works and the reopening of the playgrounds at the three parks shows what a good idea with some effort can produce.

Finally, the renovation program should be another prime example that Pendleton does boast a community that cares and is willing to do what it can to make the city look better.

Our hats are definitely off to the people who worked hard to make the renovation possible. They didn’t have to do anything, really, but instead of sitting on the sidelines they decided to get involved and made a difference.

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