Pella Chronicle

Outdoors

October 31, 2013

3M to donate to Lake Association

Lake Red Rock — Matt Kissinger with the Red Rock Lake Association has informed us that 3M will present the organization with a grant of $30,000 on Monday morning. 

The money was awarded through 3M's Eco Grant Program. The money will be used for supplies and other costs for a "Natural Playscape" project at North Overlook Beach at Lake Red Rock. According to Kissinger, the project will build a playground, made of natural materials, for children to enjoy. This is part of a nationwide trend to convert from artificial, manufactured play equipment on concrete, to something more natural. 

The playscape will include a water fountain, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math supplies, geocaching opportunities and prairie restoration. It will be located above the beach, on the back side of the adjoining campground. Plans include an outdoor amphitheater, where the US Army Corps of Engineers can present programs.

"We think it's going to bring in a lot of visitors," Kissinger said of the playscape. He said it will provide another option for people to do while at the lake. The playscape is a first for Marion County and may be a first in the state. He added that studies have shown that children are more likely to play longer on a natural playground than a manufactured one. 

According to a KGAN-TV report, Central College seniors Ryan Dusil and Ryan McPheren have been working on this project for a year. It is their capstone project. 

The two were scheduled to work with 160 Vermeer employees on the project earlier in the month, but this was canceled due to the partial federal government shutdown. Kissinger believes the work day has been rescheduled for this weekend, but that has not been confirmed. Others associated with the project were contacted for more information, but no response had been received as of this post. 

The 3M donation is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4, at 11 a.m., at North Overlook, on the future site of the playscape. 

We'll continue to follow this story as it develops. 

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