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PEPPERELL — The Friends of Pepperell Recreation are asking residents, friends and family to roll up their sleeves for the much anticipated play space installation on June 19 and June 20.

Friends president Suzanne Boswell explains that the group has worked since 2006 toward this goal of improving the community with a public play space. Numerous fundraisers and endless hours behind the scenes with a core group of dedicated volunteers will soon give life to a once pencil sketched vision.

Volunteers are needed to help install eight new play structures totaling about $32,000. Once completed the space will feature eight swings, a tire swing, a toddler slide, a zip line, a rock ‘n rider, a gravitron, a spinning carousel and a triple slide. All the items were chosen to help maximize the number of children able to participate at one time on each “event.”

“We realize this is a busy time of year for our neighbors, however, the time spent on this project will yield countless hours of enjoyment for hundreds of children over many years,” Boswell said, noting the previous equipment had been in place for about 30 years.

Volunteers are welcome to commit a few hours, six hours, any amount of time they can spare. The schedule is designed to have the play area available for the upcoming Fourth of July festivities, Summer Concert Series and Summer Playground — where more than 100 children will spend several hours a day at the Town Field. In addition, four new park benches will give folks a place to relax and children a spot to take a break.

Friends member Denene Premus says the group is extremely grateful for the support to date around the playground efforts. “We would like to especially thank the DPW for assistance with the delivery and storage of the playground equipment received so far… until we are able to move it to Town Field,” she said.

Several others have stepped up as well; Chuck Hartwell of CJ Landscaping has offered the use of a power auger and will drill the holes for the pieces; LL&S is donating their excavating work for the playground area; Craig Radwich is bringing a Bobcat and donating his landscaping experience and count on Peter Sebilian for a wheelbarrow and shovels. LL&S also went the extra mile and took the initiative to clear brush and some troublesome poison ivy.

Similar to the age old adage “measure twice cut once,” 39 holes will have to be dug in precisely the correct location to ensure proper cementing of the pieces. Getting down to the details will be Friends of Pepperell members Roberto Gomperts, Keith Bagley and Vince Premus who will measure and mark the area.

“The marking is going to be difficult, to make sure that all the holes will be in the right places, and that the fall zones are all correct,” said Denene Premus.

Donations are still needed for cement; an estimated 366 bags or more than 29,000 pounds will be used to secure the structures. Further out, the group hopes for landscaping supplies and expertise to put the finishing touches on the area.

“We really need as many people as possible to lend a hand during this crucial time. The pieces have been shipped in, some ready for preassemble; the site work has begun, and the area is ready to be marked out and dug,” said Premus. ‘Now we are asking for a crew of people willing to make a difference by giving their time. How can you not feel good about one day’s work guaranteed to produce hundreds of smiles?”

This project has been fueled and funded by generosity. “We are very appreciative and so glad to deliver so much value without incurring costs to residents. We have managed to see this through without it being a financial burden on the town and it will bring a long overdue upgrade to the Town Field play area,” said Boswell.

Premus says that she couldn’t help but reminisce a bit. “Finally, we have our hardworking members to thank,” she said. “After four years, we all work so well together, and it’s wonderful to see the dream becoming a reality.”

Volunteers are encouraged to contact Boswell at 978-433-8623 or 978-835-0133 to discuss their availability. And, bring your own tools if possible, many shovels, wheelbarrows, cordless drills, hammers and the like will be much appreciated. Donations of materials, funds, equipment and expertise are also welcome as the group continues to cover costs along the way. While the playground is being designed for children, it will be off limits to children during the installation due to safety concerns.

The Friends of Pepperell is a nonprofit organization, visit www.friendsofpepperell.org for more information.

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