By Anna-Marie Menhenott
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- For many residents, memories of Kids' Crossing include games of hide and seek among the many nooks and crannies of the boardwalks, birthday parties under the huge pavilions, games of football in the grass and lazy summer days enjoying a slight breeze and the sounds of children's laughter.
When Kids' Crossing was built in 1993, the park included wooden pathways and crosswalks, bridges and swings, rest areas and places for all ages to enjoy. However, over time, the once popular weekend playground deteriorated due to wear, tear and the hot Florida sun. Gone were the shiny, freshly painted murals. The spectacular wooden pathways had become dull and unattractive. And, most importantly, safety had become a concern.
"A year ago, the city contacted Bruce Abernathy, the original general contractor of the park, to see if he could help rebuild," said Jennifer Trefelner, coordinator for public relations. "That one phone call turned had a domino effect and now the entire community has come together to bring life back into this memorable place."
With an outpouring of help from local schools, volunteers, nonprofit organizations and church groups, the park has transformed from a fading memory to something the next generation will surely enjoy.
"The park has been designed by local children," Ms. Trefelner said. "They had ideas for a pirate's ship, a group swing, a barn area and a water spray. We have constructed the park with all of the ideas in mind and our group of 150 volunteers has come together and made their dreams come true."
The park was constructed in five days in the same location as the old park. The previous play area was demolished recently to make way for the new playground, which has cost an estimated $200,000 to construct.
The 19,000 square-foot park is located on the corner of Virginia Avenue and 23rd Street in Fort Pierce.
For more information, visit www.kidscrossingplayground.com.