BY WENDI REARDON
Clarkston News Staff Writer
The Ryan Kennedy Memorial Playground at Clintonwood Park is one step closer to reality.
“We are moving forward with a build to occur in the fall of 2016,” said Lisa Christensen, Recreation Supervisor for Independence Township Parks, Recreation and Seniors
“Everyone is really excited. The township and FORK (Friends of Ryan Kennedy) have reconnected. Demolition will start late August or early September. Then, the company who is chosen will come in and do their magic to make the playground happen.”
Kennedy was 10 years old when he passed away May 2012 after a five-year battle against Ependymoma brain cancer.
He loved to be outdoors and play as much as he could, which is one of the reasons for the playground.
“It started as an idea and a dream,” Christensen said. “The community really rallied together. We are proud and honored to honor Ryan in this way. It is a great addition for Clintonwood Park and all the families who visit.”
The township has received bids from companies as well as playground designs. They are reviewing all of the bid specs and different proposals before they make their choice.
FORK raised $75,000 for the playground and the township has committed to put $110,000 towards it, Christensen said.
“Ryan’s mom (Kimberly Morris-Karp) is excited. It is a long time coming for her to see the project come to fruition,” she added.
Christensen added families can join the Independence Township Parks, Recreation and Seniors department on Saturday, May 7 for the annual Ryan Kennedy Kids Day in the Park at Clintonwood Park, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
It is a free event which includes a petting zoo, music, food and local businesses with free activities for the kids.
A big draw to the annual event is the Kids Only Garage Sale which kids enjoy each year.
Next year’s Ryan Kennedy Kids Day in the Park will have the grand opening for the new playground.
If interested in getting involved and making a donation to the playground, please contact Christensen at firstname.lastname@example.org. If interested in getting involved with Kids Day in the park, please contact Tim McNiel at email@example.com.
BY WENDI REARDON