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City asked to close park playground for 3 days

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From Post staff reports

Attorney Mark Lee, who was one two key principals in leading the way for the construction of the playground situated in Lebanon’s Don Fox Community Park, is now asking that the playground be closed temporarily for a three-day period for reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Lee said Tuesday he would ask the Lebanon City Council in a formal statement at its regular meeting last night to close the playground so that necessary repairs might be made.

In his prepared remarks to the council, Lee notes that the first week of May marks the 15th anniversary of the commencement of construction of the Lebanon-Wilson County Community Playground.

He reminds that more than 3,000 volunteers worked over the course of one week, May 2 – 7, 1995, to construct what was commonly known as the “Stockade” playground.

Lee and Johnny Markham, youth minister at College Hills Church of Christ, helped organize the army of volunteers that built the playground 15 years ago.

“As promised, the playground has lasted, with minimal care, for 15 years. We are at a crucial crossroads as we mark this austere occasion. The community can come together once again and with a fraction of the volunteers and no funding from the City or County, refurbish the playground by hand-sanding and hand-sealing all exposed wood and repairing or replacing a few boards of timber,” Lee said in his remarks intended for the council.

He said the equipment and slides are basically sound and a fresh sanded surface and sealing, coupled with fresh paint and stain, fresh ground cover and sand, would make the “center of our city’s recreation shine like a new penny.”

“In cooperation with the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, the Sports Council and several members of the original committee, a cursory check has led us to believe that if the City of Lebanon, its Mayor and Council will stand behind our desire to save the Playground, we can accomplish this without asking for hard-pressed City or County dollars, in fact, we need only publicly support and recruit about 500 volunteers to work, over the course of three days while the playground is closed to the public, to accomplish our task. Our failure to act will likely result in the playground’s demise and the need of raising it within five years,” Lee said.

He concluded, “On behalf of the former members of the playground committee, the Chamber of Commerce and the thousands of citizens that devoted their sweat, money and tears to the building of this fine playground, I once again call upon you to declare the week of September 27 through October 2 as ‘Save Our Playground Week’ and proclaim that all Citizenry with a love for our children to participate and call the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce and sign up to volunteer.”

Lee, proving that he’s given considerable thought to the process, noted that “the University of Tennessee has no home game,” for the weekend planned for the reconstruction project.

He said he and others will act through “our schools, our papers and our businesses once again to come together as a community and make something wonderful happen.

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