September 24 2021 03:30 pm

‘It’s worth it for the community’: Modesto playground returns more than 3 years after its removal

Local News
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MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) – More than three years after its playground was removed, children were able to enjoy a perfect Friday at East La Loma Park in Modesto again.

“We had to close it because of just, unfortunately, just deterioration,” said city of Modesto spokesman Thomas Reeves.

Reeves told FOX40 that in 2017, the playground had to be shut down because it was a safety hazard. At the time, the city couldn’t afford to replace it. 

“Government’s budget is not always able to rebuild parks and really enhance the life of our residents as much as we’d like to. Our budget simply doesn’t allow for it,” Reeves explained.

Neighbors were upset kids would no longer have a place to play and worked with the city and through the Park Partners Program to raise more than $120,000 in cash and donations.

“This program was established as a signal to the community that the city wants to help in rebuilding our parks, but we can’t always do it on our own,” Reeves said.

The city kicked in $110,000 and after years of fundraising, the new playground was installed this month. 

Neighbors helped design the playground, adding a tire swing and a rock-climbing wall.

The La Loma Neighborhood Association even helped with construction by laying down all the bark, and released the following statement:

This playground could not have been built without the strong support of our neighbors getting behind the project donating funds and services and participating in our many fundraisers.   A special thank you to the people at George Reed, Inc., who donated all our demolition and concrete costs which were extensive. Also thanks to the Save Mart C.A.R.E.S. Foundation for their generous support. 

Deborah Steinberg, Co-president La Loma Neighborhood Association

From the swings to the slide to the spinner, kids told FOX40 they were just happy to have a new place to play.

The East La Loma Park is a labor of love in more ways than one.

“To see just the eyes of the kids light up and seeing how they have playground equipment, I mean, that’s really exciting,” Reeves told FOX40. “It makes it worth it for the city and, obviously, it’s worth it for the community.”

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