Rebuilt Sigsbee Park playground dedicated at Eastown ceremony

Sigsbee Park in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The reconstruction of the Sigsbee Park playground in the Eastown Neighborhood culminated Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication.

The park on Benjamin Avenue in northeast Grand Rapids had fallen into disrepair in recent years, and was deemed unsafe.  As Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal said at the ceremony, “I knew we had to do something.

“It wasn’t an option for our children not to have a place to play. But we went to our community partners and came together to make this beautiful park happen.”

The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation helped lead a fundraiser through the Michigan crowdfunding website Patronicity to rebuild the park. Organizers needed to raise $29,500 within 30 days in order for the playground project to be eligible for a state matching grant. The webpage indicates that $32,440 was raised by June 30.

The grant is being distributed through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Public Spaces Community Places.

Like all of the district’s playgrounds, Sigsbee Park is part of a joint-use agreement between the schools and the City of Grand Rapids that treats schoolyards like public parks, for revitalization purposes.

Says Weatherall Neal: “It feels good. Children came right outside and went directly to the playground. We didn’t even have to tell them where to go.

“Children know how to do this. So, what a wonderful thing to come together.”

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