Chesterton Tribune



Old Dogwood Park playground apparatus ripped out for new set

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A couple of generations of kids grew up playing on it.

It was a campaign issue in several of the 2015 Chesterton Town Council races.

And now it’s gone, nearly half a century after it was first installed: the playground equipment at Dogwood Park.

At the Park Board’s meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Bruce Mathias reported that the 45-year-old equipment has been ripped out, and indeed folks driving by Dogwood Park earlier in the day might have noticed the limbs of the old apparatus, stacked like cordwood by the side of the parking lot on the east side of 23rd Street.

That old equipment will soon be replaced by a new set, already purchased at a cost of $182,109. Now it only needs to be installed, along with two other new sets of apparatus, one for Chesterton Park ($23,596), the other for Olde Towne Park ($37,201).

The estimated cost of installing the three sets: $120,000 to $130,000--below, that is, the $150,000 threshold at which municipal projects need to be bid out. Under state law, however, the board still needs to solicit three quotes for the job, which members voted unanimously to do, from the following firms which specialize in such installations: Wampler Works Inc. of Rensselaer; Hacienda Landscaping of Plainfield, Ill.; and Green-Up Landscape, also of Plainfield.

Duneland Diamond

In other business, members voted unanimously to authorize the Duneland Diamond League to use the baseball field in Chesterton Park, at the corner of West Porter Ave. and South Fifth Street, for its 2017 season.

Prior to the vote, Dan Ameling of Duneland Diamond reviewed the work done on the facility last year, much of it by Rebuilding Together Duneland and the Chesterton/Porter Rotary Club: among other things, a retaining wall was built under the left field bullpen fence; decorative trees were planted down the right field line, flower bulbs in the planter, and a variety of shrubs and ground cover where needed; 20 yards of mulch were also spread and a broadleaf killer applied to the infield and outfield grass.

Ameling himself built a new “Chesterton Park” sign. “It’s not completely done,” he noted. “There are still a few artistic additions left. It’s been a labor of love.”

This year, Ameling added, the backstop fencing is scheduled to be replaced, brick pavers installed behind the backstop from one dugout to the other, and the flagpole rebuilt, the latter possibly as a Boy Scout project.

Down the road--and pending funding--Ameling has put these projects on his wish list: a scoreboard, a shelter/concession stand/restroom, a utility tractor/lawnmower, new bleachers, and new backstop fencing.

Certainly the field got a lot of use in 2016. As Ameling reported, around 50 boys played on four Babe Ruth teams in the spring and 50 on another four Babe Ruth teams in the fall, along with two adult teams in the spring. Total games played last year: 54 youth games and 20 adult.

“Thank you for all your hard work,” Member Mark Dickinson said.


Posted 2/8/2017





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