Lincoln Elementary School in Great Falls - like many schools - has old playground equipment and is ready to be updated. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of some parents, that's about to happen.
“We've been in Great Falls for about nine years and have been talking about upgrading the playground for that long,” said Francine Palmer, chairperson of the Lincoln Elementary School Playground committee. “It's a big project to take on, and it's been really hard to get the momentum.”
“We formed a playground committee to figure out what kind of watch equipment we're getting rid of, which equipment we wanted to add,” said Kali Tuckerman, the Lincoln Playground Committee fundraising chairperson.
Through fundraisers and help from community members and businesses, the $265,000 project picked up steam.
“We actually got an anonymous donor who is willing to match up to $95,000 up until December 31st,” said Tuckerman.
Tuckerman says as of Tuesday, the group was about 84% towards the match and will need to raise another $15, 000. She said the money can be received or pledged by the deadline.
The project will also include a feature to let donors know they helped make a difference.
“We also have a brick path that we're going to create that the bricks can be personalized,” said Tuckerman. “So we're selling those to raise funds as well. That's another way to give back. So, if you're an alumni and you want to be a part of this and have a long-lasting thing, we do have the bricks available for purchase as well.”
The new playground will have less metal and more swings and ziplines and another important feature.
“It's going to be accessible for people with needs,” said Tuckerman. “So that's the really cool part of this playground is we're going to have swings and zip lines that are going to be accessible to all children.”
When the project is done, it will include another important safety feature in the form of a new track.
“Now, when we do our walkathon or do gym activities, they have to run on the sidewalk, which is right next to the one of the busiest streets in Great Falls. It's on the one way,” said Tuckerman.
To learn more or donate to the project, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can also be made online through the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation.