Toddlers and parents see eye-to-eye at Lincolnville City Park
If you are a friend or relative of Sherri Pankratz of Lincolnville, you are likely to have been recruited by her to help with grant writing or installing new equipment in the city park.
The park has seen many new additions since Pankratz was elected to the city council and became parks and recreation chairman.
The newest addition is a science-based trademark swing named Expression Swing.
It combines a toddler swing seat and adult swing seat in one unit and provides face-to-face, eye-to-eye contact between parent and child.
Pankratz said she learned about the unique swing through a relative’s online post. She researched it and decided it would be a good thing for the park.
“Parents sometimes swing children while holding them on their laps, and this would be something new and would provide more interaction, which seems to be the going thing,” she said.
She obtained the swing through a $2,500 grant from Tri-County Telephone Association.
The swing is one of many additions to the park since Pankratz has been in charge. Some, like the Fit Trail with 20 exercise stations, were funded by grants, while others were provided locally. Installation was provided by community volunteers.
Grants have funded a water fountain and new goals for the basketball court. Extra city recreation funds provided several new bouncies, including a bumblebee, ladybug, and truck.
A Boy Scout created a small bridge across a draw in the park to fulfill his Eagle Scout requirements, and Centre Girl Scouts established landscaping in the northwest corner of the park.
A family with Lincolnville roots provided funding for new playground equipment for children.
All of that, along with park benches, a shelter house, and an attractive community building and landscaping, has provided an inviting place for children and adults to spend time. It is the site of Lincolnville’s annual Octoberfest celebration.
Two handicap accessible picnic tables made from recycled material have been ordered and soon will be installed. They will provide space for people in wheelchairs to sit at the tables. The tables were funded by a matching grant with the city.
Pankratz said the older children in the community would like to have a big slide, but cost and liability issues have made it prohibitive so far.
“There’s money out there,” Pankratz said. “You just need to look for it and then fill out the application with the information they want.”
Her long-term dream is to see construction of a gazebo west of the community building before she leaves office.