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(MIAMI, OK) Calling all pirates, and water lovers! A pirate ship worthy of any sailor or land lover is ready to launch. A generous TSET (Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust) grant has provided brightly colored, fun, new playground equipment with a pirate ship design. The ship includes slides, climbing apparatus, crow’s nests, a walking bridge and more for area children to enjoy. The new playground equipment is located at the Splash Pad Park area on the Truck Route in Miami.
The City of Miami Park Crew put in fall protection “mulch” last week making the equipment and play area safer and ready for children to climb, slide and swing. The Pirate Ship Playground equipment is just one addition to the complex with other projects in progress.
The City Parks crew is waiting for shipped parts now in transit to be delivered, and sidewalks to be poured to add a cut in ramp for greater accessibility for all to the pirate ship area.
A new swing set frame will temporarily be fitted with standard swings until a wheelchair platform swing, an adult full body swing, and a parent/child tandem swing arrives soon.
According to Miami’s Public Works Director Kevin Browning, Miamian Kim Horn was vital in making efforts toward the healthy community push to add the TSET grant funded equipment.
TSET is a public trust created by the State of Oklahoma to manage money from settlements or lawsuits against any tobacco company as an endowment trust fund. The Trust uses the money, through grants and programs, to improve the health and quality of life of all Oklahomans by funding programs and services that address, prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity – health behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death in Oklahoma, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The City of Miami was awarded a TSET grant of $24,000 for the project. The Pirate Ship cost $25,241 and was installed by the Parks Department crew under the supervision of a licensed playground installer.
“I want to thank the Parks Department; they did a ton of work on this project. They really worked hard on this,” Browning said.
Parks Manager Justin Hilgenberg said he’s proud of the project and the work his crew, Blaine Stephens, Curtis Heintz, Glenn Johnston, Dennis Wells and Larry Longan, has completed with the help of the Cemetery work crew, he said, “I want to give them the credit deserved. They did a great job.”
Browning said the $1,600 wheelchair platform swing and full body swing costing $575 are expected to be delivered here in July. The fall protection materials cost $5,000, making the total project to date around $32,416 in materials only.
The project is one in several completed or in process to provide better quality outdoor spaces for the community to enjoy. The City is focusing on the Splash Pad Complex, Key Club Park and Rotary Park while returning three parks, Riverview, and Lion Tolbert to more natural environmental spaces such as pollination stations.
“There will be additional ongoing improvements coming to the Splash Pad Park,” Browning said, “You will have to stay tuned to see it all come together.”
The Splash Pad water play area will soon be opened once weather permits and conditions are warm enough, according to Browning.
Plans for the park also include the addition of a new Outdoor Learning Environment to break ground this summer, a project the City of Miami is partnering with the Miami Nation, Ottawa Tribe, and Shawnee Tribe to create.
The Splash Pad area will open once the weather stays warm enough, hopefully mid-May, and the City of Miami’s swimming pool is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend, May 28.
Miami has many areas for outdoor activity, sports, picnics and play. The City of Miami’s Parks Department cares for 13 parks, five sports complexes and the Ottawa County Fairgrounds year-round and the crew also maintains 1,000 acres a week in mowing. The City of Miami currently has a seven member Parks Department crew with only five positions filled at this time.
Miami’s parks include Wayne Pack Park at 1531 Scott Lane NE, Veteran’s Memorial Disc Golf Park at 1198 Scotty Court, Lion Chaney Park at 1922 NE Grant Parkway, Rotary Centennial Park at 103 M Street SE, Lion Torbert Park at 1922 E Street NE, Business and Professional Women’s Park at BJ Tunnell and A Street NE, Key Club Park at 329 5th NW, Rotary Park at 514 Circle Drive, Garden Club Park at 228 E Street NW, Lion Taylor Park at 411 H Street NE, George Francis Riverview Park, Sarasota Kiwanis Park at 1830 18th Place S, and the Route 66 Splash Pad Park at 200 E BJ Tunnell.
Miami’s Sports Complexes include the Joe Pollock Complex, Tennis Court and Skateboard Park at 117 6th SE, Francis Morgan Field at 801 B Street SE, Sam Wells Soccer Complex at 11 07 N Street NW, Pee Wee and Little League Complex at 600 9th SE, and the Joe Booth Sports Complex at 603 12th SW.