By Dawn Krebs
FORT PIERCE -- The famous quote from the movie "Field of Dreams" goes, "If you build it, they will come."
But one group quickly found out when it comes to a certain playground, people want to be a part of the process before any building takes place.
The organization, Kids' Crossing Playground, is trying to raise money to rebuild a playground near the intersection of Virginia Avenue and 23rd Street in Fort Pierce.
"We are currently raising money to help with the costs of rebuilding it," said Jennifer Trefelner, coordinator for public relations for Kids' Crossing Playground.
The playground was originally built in 1993 by a group of volunteers. But now, 20 years later, the structure has degraded to where there are serious safety concerns. It is scheduled to come down in fall 2013.
In the meantime, a steering committee has been set up, and fundraising begun, to help with the cost of rebuilding the playground.
But the steering committee wants to take the project one step further than just building a new playground.
The playground is planned to be accessible for all children, regardless of ability. It will be constructed with specialized materials and is expected to last approximately 50 years.
But just as important as the playground are the people and organizations working to create it.
The entire project is expected to be a compilation of businesses and residents working together to pay for the playground.
"Recently, we went to a meeting by the Rotary Club of Fort Pierce," Ms. Trefelner said. "We accepted a generous donation by Heather Thorpe and her son, Garrett, on behalf of the annual Randy Osteen award, which honors a local unsung hero."
The property is owned by the city of Fort Pierce, but the city's involvement ends there, and that's where the many volunteers' hard work begins.
And they've been busy. On Jan. 10, the committee officially kicked off the fundraising campaign. To date, almost $45,000 has been raised. Another event, the Party in the Park, is scheduled for April 13 at the playground site.
"The massive community effort has been well-received by all," said Ms. Trefelner. "The outpouring of support has been contagious."
For more information on the project, or to make a donation, go online to www.KidsCrossingPlayground.com.