Mt. Pleasant and Union Township partner on playground upgrades

A unique partnership between the City of Mt. Pleasant and Union Township has resulted in a win-win development for the families of each community.

The parks departments of the two communities have partnered on a playground equipment project to bring new playground structures to Sunnyside Park and Jamison Park in Mt. Pleasant and Union Township, respectively.

Chris Bundy, director of Parks and Public Spaces for Mt. Pleasant, characterizes the playground equipment as a two-for-one special. That’s because Mt. Pleasant received a GameTime Playground Equipment Grant from the GameTime company, a manufacturer of playground equipment.

Because Mt. Pleasant was in the market for only one playscape, Bundy approached Kim Smith, Union Township’s director of the Department of Public Service, about splitting the grant, with each community essentially purchasing new playground equipment for half the cost.

While Mt. Pleasant has received the GameTime grant before, this is the first time that the city has partnered with another community on such a project.

“I was looking at purchasing new playground equipment for Sunnyside, looking at our different options. We had requests for another playground in the master plan but that wasn’t approved yet. So I looked at other communities that might need new playground equipment,” Bundy says.

“I didn’t want to lose the opportunity for that grant.”

The new equipment was installed in Union Township this spring. For Mt. Pleasant, Bundy hoped to organize a “community build” but COVD-19 made that impossible. City workers ultimately installed the new equipment in early fall.

Bundy has been busy this summer; he recently celebrated the installation of three bike repair stations in August. Big projects in Island and Nelson parks were also completed recently, a paved fitness trail and a new Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, among other improvements.

“I’m pretty excited that we were able to complete the bridge and fitness trail, to get them wrapped up and have folks able to utilize them before winter comes,” Bundy says.

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