Three Murray County parks sport new playground equipment

By: Sheila Crowley

Murray County News Staffwriter

Murray County works hard at providing the finest in recreation which in part lies with their parks. The county boasts eight parks in all including Lime Lake, Seven Mile, Lake Corabelle, Swenson, East Lake Sarah, Sundquist, End-O-Line, and Foreman Acres.

The most recent improvements were made at Sundquist Park on West Lake Sarah, Swenson Park, and East Lake Sarah Park. At both Swenson and East Lake Sarah, new commercial playground equipment was recently installed.

The renovations at Sundquist Park were a little more extensive. Grant dollars helped to fund the construction of handicapped-accessible sidewalks, a new playground, along with a new bathroom and showering facility as well as upgrading electrical to eight campsites. The dollars received were a part of the DNR outdoor recreation grant which covered approximately half of the project costs incurred. The rest was covered by the county. According to Justin Hoffmann, park manager, the only thing left to do at Sundquist is a little seeding around the bathrooms which will most likely take place in a couple of weeks.

Due to the wet conditions, the bathroom project was delayed. “We had hoped to have everything done by the 4th of July, however, the weather hampered working conditions so it took to Labor Day to have everything up and running,” shared Hoffmann. Duman Kiper, Marshall, was the main contractor for the project with the electrical service provided by Engelkes Electric. 

Minnesota-Wisconsin Playground recently was in the area to install the commercial playgrounds. The company spent the better part of the week doing the install at the three different locations. The previous playgrounds were all made of wood and therefore caused a hazard due to structural issues with rotting wood, nails sticking out, or screws in. “We don’t have any wood playground structures in any of our parks,” said Hoffmann. “The new seats offer a little more for the kids to do.” The price tag for sets averages $40,000 to $50,000. At Swenson Park, the Lakers 4-H Club donated a couple of benches that sit on the edges of the playground allowing parents and onlookers a place to sit while the children play. Additionally, three other benches were donated to use in other areas of the park.

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