The snip of a ribbon was all one little boy needed as a cue Friday afternoon to take off sprinting.
The child took off moments after a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new playground in Flat Rock, headed straight for the fun that awaited.
Flat Rock’s new playground was made possible by a grant given by the Blue River Community Foundation, one of four handed out to local communities this year.
Derrek Tennell, a volunteer firefighter in Flat Rock and fourth generation Flat Rock resident, said the playground has already allowed him to meet other residents he never knew.
“There’s no venue for people who live in this town to come together,” he said as the child was checking out the playground. “The only thing that this community has ever had is the Fish Fry, so now there’s something for people to come to.”
It’s been more than 40 years since Flat Rock’s children had a place to play. The community previously had a playground at the elementary school, but when it closed, the playground was torn down.
“So that was where people got together,” he said. “Once that went away and all those small businesses went away, there’s literally no gathering place for the community.”
When representatives from the Blue River Community Foundation approached Flat Rock community members about the grant, the idea for a playground was a no-brainer, Tennell said.
“It’s perfect when that comes together, when there’s a vision already,” foundation executive director Amy Haacker said. “A need and a vision, and then we can come in with resources to make it happen. It’s a perfect partnership.”
Flat Rock’s playground is the second playground made possible by the foundation, and the third of four projects completed.
Fairland celebrated the opening of its playground a month ago and has been a popular place for children to play, particularly one autistic child who comes over every day it’s not raining.
“I don’t know who these Blue River people are, but this is great,” he told Program Director Lynne Ensminger a week ago.
Morristown’s trail around Community Park has been finished for several months and the fourth project, a mural in Waldron, has been expanded.
The foundation had enough money to fund two murals, Haacker said. The first one, on a fence, is completed. The artist is working on the second one this week.
Thank you to the Shelbyville News for use of this article.