Boyne City’s Veterans Park playground to reopen after year of toxic cleanup

According to a May 26 press release from Boyne City officials, the Veterans Park playground has been approved for reopening.

After months of research and work the Boyne City Community Playground in its Veterans Park will reopen at noon on Friday May 27, in time for the Memorial Day Weekend and the Saturday and Wednesday Farmers Markets.

Originally created through the efforts and labor of the Boyne Community in 2001 the Community Playground has been a magnet for kids and families of all ages since its opening.

The playground is one of many of this type that were custom designed and organized for communities all across the country by the Leathers & Associates of New York.

The playground was primarily built of treated lumber which used a wood preservative containing arsenic, a common and allowed practice at the time.

Although the structure was regularly maintained by Boyne City personnel using the practices and products recommended by the manufacturer, testing by consultants hired by the City in 2015 revealed high levels of arsenic in the wood chips and soils around the structure.

Based on those test results, the playground was immediately closed to the public.

The Boyne community expressed its desire to save the playground if possible.

Volunteers and City personnel researched their options with the manufacturer, other communities with similar playgrounds and health and environmental experts.

The conclusion was that the playground could be saved.

The first step, which took place last fall with volunteers, city personnel and contractors, working together removed all the contaminated wood chips.  Over the winter and spring a new due care plan was developed for the playground to ensure it would be made and kept safe.

That plan has been reviewed by health and environmental experts.

Last week, as soon as the weather allowed, a contractor applied new sealant to all the wood surfaces of the playground.

Following that new fabric filter liner was installed and then new specialty wood chips installed over it.

Then fences and other regular repairs and maintenance were performed at the playground to get it ready for reopening. And so it now is!

To celebrate the hard work by all those involved Boyne City is inviting everyone to come to the grand re-opening and ribbon cutting at the playground on Friday May 27 at noon.

One of the several original volunteers from when it was built who came back to work on the playground, Nord Schroder, said he will be cooking hotdogs for folks.

Hope to see you there!

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