“A Playground For Everyone” breaks ground at Turtle Lake Elementary.

From left: Shoreview Mayor Sandy Martin, Turtle Lake Elementary School Principal Darin Johnson and Mounds View Public Schools Superintendent Dan Hoverman broke ground on the elementary school’s new “A Playground For Everyone” on June 6. (Mike Munzenrider/Bulletin)

A design mock-up of Turtle Lake Elementary School’s “A Playground For Everyone.” (Submitted graphic)

The excitement of the last day of school at Turtle Lake Elementary was multiplied by the prospect of a brand new, more accessible playground, when kids, school and city officials broke ground on “A Playground For Everyone” at the school, the afternoon of June 6.

The short groundbreaking ceremony marked the culmination of Turtle Lake Elementary PTA Playground Leadership’s fundraising of more than $170,000 and more than two years of planning.

School officials remarked that the new playground would be more inclusive, and Shoreview Mayor Sandy Martin said the new playground would be a resource for people who had nothing like it before, something that others sometimes take for granted. She also said how much she enjoyed the event, as she presented a check from the city to the playground fund for $5,000.

“I get to do a lot of groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings,” Martin said, “and this is the best.”

After watching the ceremony, Casey, a 7-year-old Turtle Lake student, said he will be excited to use the new playground, which he thought had a better overall design than the existing playground.

“It looks better than this one because you don’t have to climb on a bunch of stuff to get up,” Casey said,  purple-faced from a lollipop.

The new playground, which will accommodate kids and adults of various accessibility needs, will replace a 20-year-old structure.

Jen Sprain, project chair for the new playground, said the current playground will be torn down just after July 4 with construction on the new playground completed by the end of that month, if all goes as planned. Sprain said she was looking for “skilled assistance” to help with construction, which will be a community build.

For more information on the project visit www.turtlelakeplayground.weebly.com.

— Mike Munzenrider


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