Baldwin By autumn of this year, Baldwin youngsters will be swinging, climbing and shooting hoops at a newly equipped city park.
The Baldwin City Council agreed this week to match the funds provided in a state Department of Wildlife and Parks grant that will pay for a total of $14,800 in improvements at West Park. The park, located just north of 11th and High, will get a full basketball court, the final section of a three-part climbing structure, "tot" equipment for toddlers, a bicycle rack, benches and landscaping.
The park also will be made accessible to the physically handicapped.
Patti Michalowski, a member of Baldwin City Volunteers for Parks, said the effort to improve West Park started in April 1989 under the direction of Pam Thompson and Tammy Johnson.
THE GROUP posted aluminum can-collection barrels around town, sponsored a booth and concession stand at the citywide garage sale, held bake sales and pie sales, raffled a quilt, and staffed booths at the Maple Leaf Festival. Members collected donations from United Telephone, Kansas Power and Light, Baker University and many Baldwin organizations, including the Lions Club, which donated proceeds from a pancake feed, Michalowski said.
With its many fund-raising efforts, the group raised more than $10,000, with about $1,300 coming from recycling cans.
In early 1990, Michalowski wrote to the Department of Wildlife and Parks requesting a grant application. "I stared at it for a long time not knowing what to do," she said.
WHEN Rick Shain, was hired in May as Baldwin city administrator, Michalowski sought his help to complete the application in time for the June deadline. The grant money was denied that year, but the city resubmitted the application in May 1991 and was awarded the $7,400 grant.
In the meantime, the parks organization had installed a swingset, merry-go-round and phase one and two of the climbing structure at the park, Michalowski said.
"We were tired of having to drive to Lawrence to go to a park," she said. "We thought we should have a park here where kids could go and see their friends and mothers could meet and talk while their kids played."