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Howland park prepares for next phase of play site

HOWLAND — The Howland Township Park Board is preparing for the second phase of the new Tiger Town and other park improvements this year.

Board Vice Chairman Shawn Pompelia said the second phase, expected to cost around $80,000, will be done in the spring. It will include additional play equipment and rubberized surface below the play area.

Board Chairwoman Jessica Gault said the board met Wednesday and approved DWA Recreation for playground equipment and curbing around the play area for the second phase.

He said the equipment needs to be ordered now for the spring.

The new Tiger Town is located closer to the entrance of the park as compared to the previous location in the northwest corner of the park, which had flooding issues.

The move was recommended in a recently completed comprehensive plan because the area by the old playground was near a flood plain.

The brick pavers and panels painted by children from the old Tiger Town were removed and saved. They were placed at the entrance to the new Tiger Town. Picnic tables also were placed in shaded areas.

The first of three phases for Tiger Town was completed in 2019. The play units have been set up by Park Play Solutions with the park board purchasing $61,757 in play equipment and units from the company. In addition to a sliding board, swing sets and jungle gym, the play units include an island helicopter, a junior sports car, drag race vehicle and custom biplane that children can get inside.

Members of the community and the park board held fundraisers to raise money for the new project. In addition, grants from different foundations were sought to cover the cost of the estimated $440,000 needed for all phases of the new Tiger Town.

Park board member Allen Seman suggested using a former tennis court area of the main park as an enclosed play area for small children up to age 5 to play in as well as a picnic area. The area would be fenced in.

Officials said the project could cost $40,000.

Pompelia said before that project would be done, the Tiger Town project would need to be completed first.

The park board plans to meet with Howland Township trustees to discuss ideas for the main township park to attract more people, including a yoga and exercise program at the pergola and music areas.

Gault said the concrete at the tennis courts also would need to be addressed. Crack filling would be $2,100 and crack fill and one of coat of color for the lines would be $5,400.

Projects completed in 2020 in spite of the pandemic included adding benches and garbage cans throughout the parks; cutting down 20 trees, mostly at Bolindale Park; and landscaping by the pergola by Creekside Landscaping.

Pompelia said because the parks are outside and despite the coronavirus, a lot of work was able to get completed in 2020.

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