Merchant to lead community playground rebuild

Feb 1, 2012

East Lansing, MI – Civic leaders in East Lansing are appealing to residents to renovate a playground in a popular city park. They've set an ambitious fundraising goal.

In 1995, East Lansing residents built a playground in Patriarche Park. It was later realized that the pressure-treated wood contained levels of arsenic. No children are known to have been injured, but now civic leaders are spearheading an effort to raise $400,000 over the coming year to replace the equipment with safer materials.

They're confident the community can raise the money.

"There's a core of wonderful families; parents, grandparents that have raised their children here and have been incredibly happy that are willing to get involved," says Michigan State University women's basketball head coach Suzy Merchant. She's the honorary chairperson for the project. "And great corporate leadership, too, that I think understands how important this project is."

The East Lansing Rotary Club is organizing the fundraiser. The group will host public meetings to gather input about the design. The first will be on February 23.