Ballinger Lake playground complete!

Bill Hancock
Runnels County Register
The new playground at Ballinger Lake was completed the week of November 30. The playground was the result of several years of work put in by the Ballinger Park Board. Ballinger Rotary donated $7,500 in money and equipment to help fund the $20,000 project.

The long-anticipated Ballinger playground at the lake has been completed. Construction of the playground, built by Child's Play, Inc., completed construction the week of November 30.

The playground at Ballinger Lake was completed the week of November 30. The project was the result of work from the Ballinger Park Board. L-R 1st row: Park board members: Elaine Paske, Carrie Flores, Lucy Calvin - park board president, Joyce Waterfill - Rotary president and park board member Chad Hardy.

The playground idea was the passion of Ballinger Park Board member (and former president) Elaine Plaske, "We wanted to build something like this out here after we completed the playground at the city park back in 2013. So we've been working on it for 7 or 8 years."

The park board was founded in 2007 and is working to give more outdoor options to families around the area. The playground at the lake is just one of the items the park board can now check off of it's agenda.

Mollie Flores (left) works on the vertical climbing while Gabi Cavazos works along the horizontal bars at the new playground at Ballinger Lake.

The playground was supported with funds raised by the park board as well as $5,000 donated by the Ballinger Rotary Club. Plaske said that there is still more to come for the playground, "Rotary is also donating to benches and trash receptacles that they had planned to donate to the dog park project." With the benches and receptacles, the Rotary donation total came to $7,500.

Park board member Chad Hardy said that there is more work to be done in addition to adding the benches and receptacles, "We want to run some irrigation out here and plant some trees. This is a big, beautiful open area that we can do a lot with. The city is working on getting some well water and finding where the electrical lines run before we get the irrigation set."

Ballinger park board members came out to celebrate the new playground that they worked for 7 years to establish at the lake. L-R Carrie Flores, Lucy Calvin - park board president, Elaine Paske, Mary Dallas, Chad Hardy. Kiddos, L-R, Mollie Flores, Monico Flores and Gabi Cavazos.

In October, when city manager Brian Frieda and others met at the location to discuss construction, Frieda said that there would be work done to prevent any vandalism, "We'll have more frequent patrols out here and install security cameras."

Rotary president Joyce Waterfill, fresh from her battle with COVID, came out to see the new playground for herself, "This is great. It's really what this place needed. Rotary is very pleased with how well this project was done from beginning to end. It progressed really well. I think everyone appreciates the work that the park board puts in on behalf of our community."

Plaske said that the park board is also working to create a park at the old Ballinger Junior High on 8th street, "The school district voted to donate that land so the city and park board are working to come up with a plan for it."

The Ballinger Park Board meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 5:45 p.m. at Ballinger City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.