Swings, slides take shape at Minot Forest playground

By Matthew Bernat | Apr 30, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Rhonda Veugen works alongside other volunteers on Sunday to help set up a new playground at Minot Forest Elementary.

In two days, volunteers transformed a patch of dirt behind Minot Forest Elementary into a lively playscape, complete with swings, spinners, monkey bars and slides.

On Saturday and Sunday, approximately 20 people came together to level the ground, install mulch and install equipment for the new playground. The playground cost a total of $25,000 with funding coming from a massive fundraiser held at Decas Elementary School last May and $12,000 worth of Community Preservation Act funds. Community Preservation Act funds are collected from a 3 percent surcharge on property tax and projects must be approved at Town Meeting.

“This was truly a group effort,” said Nichole Mazzoli, a member of the Wareham Elementary PTA and lead organizer of the effort. “Yesterday, we had teachers out here, the principal and parents. Even though kids couldn’t be on the worksite they handed out water and made sure everyone had what they needed.’

The project is more than a year in the making. Mazzoli said that's when teachers came to the PTA saying outdoor play equipment was sorely needed at the school.

“Where the playground is now there was just dirt. There were drainage issues and there were puddles of mulch and muck everywhere,” said Mazzoli.

The playground’s major hurdle, raising the funds, was overcome at the first ever Boosterthon Fun Run held last May. The Fun Run provided students a chance to get outside of the classroom and run with their friends while they raised funds for Minot Forest and Decas Elementary through pledges and donations. Through a fundraising website set up by Boosterthon, parents and members of the community were able to sponsor children. The event netted approximately $44,000 for both schools.

Mazzoli said while the PTA holds regular fundraisers throughout the year, the Fun Run allowed the group to think big. And the playground was the result, but it wouldn’t have come together without many volunteers, said Mazzoli.

With the help of local contractor Chad Dunfee, a parent and owner of C.M. Dunfee who served as the project foreman, and donations of equipment from Top Tier Site Development and R&R Excavating, Mazzoli said the work of building the playground came together quickly.

Getting to that point took some time, however, between fundraising, permitting and planning issues, said Mazzoli.

For students, the wait will definitely be worth it when they get to test out the new swings and slides, which definitely offer more opportunities for play than a patch of dirt.


William Fitzgerald Klemp shovels dirt into a wheelbarrow during Sunday's playground build at Minot Forest. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Fifth grade student Jackson Veugen digs in to help level the ground at Minot Forest's new playground. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Kevin McNulty moves a load of gravel on the worksite. The gravel will help provide good drainage for the new playground. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Fourth grade student Lain Potter pitches on Sunday. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Comments (2)
Posted by: baron1701@yahoo.com | May 01, 2017 09:54

Excellent job - great use of CPA funds and a wonderful thing for the community. TY

Posted by: Blondechick | May 01, 2017 10:54

great job everyone! I have built a playground at my sons school a couple years ago, and it's not easy work- Kids will be playing happily for many years!

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