Funding a place for fun

Funds are still needed to complete the second phase of the project.
CANFIELD -- A wooden playground structure at Greasel Park, built at least 10 years ago, looked like a splinter waiting to happen.
The spaces between the wooden logs can become every parent's nightmare with enough imagination: a child's arm or leg stuck in between the spaces.
And there didn't seem to be anything for toddlers to play on at the park. Dr. Linda Cooper, a neonatal doctor at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, is working to change that.
Cooper has been raising funds for a toddlers' playground at Greasel Park since April 2003, and after two long years, the first phase of the playground is ready to be broken in by toddlers today.
About 20 Canfield High School students helped other volunteers arrange the pieces for a red, yellow and blue jungle gym at Greasel Park on Thursday.
Volunteers began work at 7 a.m. Thursday to complete the first phase of construction for the July Fourth weekend.
Cooper said she got the idea for the playground when she was visiting her oldest daughter at Bucknell University in November 2002. The family took its youngest daughter to a playground nearby and noticed how much she enjoyed playing there.
"A lot of the playgrounds have things for bigger kids," Cooper said. "I know of Tots' Town in Boardman, and I thought, 'We need something here in Canfield.'"
Future additions
Cooper said the goal was to raise about $30,000 for the project. About $6,000 is still needed to reach the goal.
The $6,000 would fund picnic tables, benches and items for the second phase of building the toddlers' park.
The second phase of the toddlers' park will add two playhouses that stand about 5 feet high, and four or five spring riders -- animals attached to coils that children can ride.
The second phase might fence in the playground area and add a plaque with donors' names on it, Cooper said.
The second phase could be completed by the end of summer depending on the amount of donations, she added.
"The great thing about this place is that there is plenty of room to add things," Cooper said, looking around at the open spaces in the park.
Donations can be sent to Canfield Playground Fund, PO Box 324, Canfield, Ohio 44406. Any checks can be made out to Canfield Playground Fund. All donations are tax deductible.

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