The new playground equipment for Selvig Park has all arrived and is safely stored away awaiting installation, which had originally been planned for this weekend. However, due to the amount of precipitation received in the last few weeks, the site remains too muddy for proper construction.

According to City Administrator Jerome Illg, a new installation date has not been set as weather forecasts continue to predict more inclement weather over the next week and beyond.

The city's park board has been working on fundraising and playground design over the past year, developing a plan that will provide a safe and entertaining structure for children of various ages to utilize.

According to park board member Aubrey Johnson, Selvig Park is the center of the Harmony community and is the showcase of many events.

"The current playground was installed approximately 20 years ago and many grandparents once played on the swing set and merry-go-round!" she shared. "It has served our community well but unfortunately, it no longer meets state codes or regulations for playground equipment, and needs significant repairs."

Johnson also explained she was one of the parents who approached the park board about replacing the playground equipment. At the time, she was doing daycare in her home and would take her children to the park. "The closest playground equipment that was safe was in Trailhead Park, and we had to walk right by Selvig Park to get there," she explained. "With Fourth of July festivities and Family Fun Night being held at Selvig Park, many kids play on that equipment."

Before being removed last fall, Selvig Park's equipment was made out of wood and many times the kids would leave with splinters.

"I looked around and thought 'This has to change,'" Johnson said. "This park is the focus of our town and the playground equipment was too rough and unsafe."

She continued, "The playground has served its time. It's been there a long time and the merry-go-round and swings have been there even longer. A lot of us just felt it was time to get working to create something new."

The committee began working with Midwest Playscapes and created a design for a new playground, which would include an area for toddlers and another for 5- to 12-year olds. The color scheme was natural to fit in with the other buildings and structures in the park, Johnson explained.

One of the goals for the park board was to replace the playground equipment without raising taxes and adding to the community's budget.

The Harmony Area Community Foundation (HACF), which was formed late last year to enhance and sustain the quality of life for residents of the greater Harmony area, stepped in to help with the fundraising for this project as well.

Because the HACF will focus on the development of parks and trails, supporting Fillmore Central Schools, public library, arts and history, health and the environment and general community support and growth, the playground project fit well within its mission.

The Lions Club donated money to purchase a new merry-go-round. The Foundation contributed $10,000 to the project. A $1,000 grant was received from WalMart and another, $500 gift was received from Kwik Trip. The Conservation Club donated $1,000 and many individuals have already supported the project with donations.

According to a report at last week's city council meeting, a great deal of the money needed for this project has already been raised. Another $9,200 is needed to completely cover the costs of the equipment, installation and ground cover.

Johnson urged area businesses, organizations and families to support the project and donate to this beautiful park with new playground equipment. One may send a donation to First Southeast Bank Harmony; P.O. Box 429, Harmony, MN 55939 c/o Selvig Park Playground.

Contributions for the project can also be sent through the Foundation to Tim Samuelson, Treasurer, c/o City of Harmony, P.O. Box 488, Harmony, MN 55939.