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Rocks readied for climbing at Richfield playground

7/3/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Photos courtesy of Bath-Richfield Kiwanis
RICHFIELD — On June 22, members of the Bath-Richfield Kiwanis Club were on hand to dedicate the newest addition to the Jack Jones Memorial Playground — a set of climbing rocks.

Located behind Richfield Village’s Town Hall, the Kiwanis Rock Garden is a place where children grow, according to members of Bath-Richfield Kiwanis. A group of children who attended the dedication ceremony are shown below right climbing up one of the new boulders.

The new installation consists of two freestanding artificial boulders and one larger structure made up of two boulders pushed together. The two boulders together create an arch, so climbing opportunities exist on top of and between the rocks.

According to Bath-Richfield Kiwanis President Floyd Ostrowski, the rocks were handcrafted from specially mixed 9500-psi fiberglass-reinforced concrete to which pumice is added for weight reduction. The boulders then were hand painted and clear-coated for protection from the elements.

The smallest is about 2 feet high, and the two boulders that form the arch are around 9 feet high.

To fund the installation, Richfield Parks and Recreation Director Ruth Jocek said the village received a $51,000 NatureWorks Grant from the state. Bath-Richfield Kiwanis officials added they raised an additional $20,000 and also received a $2,500 grant from the Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation for the project.

Kiwanis members and employees of the village’s Service Department made up the volunteer labor force needed to spread a new basecoat of gravel and mulch topcoat after the boulders were delivered and placed in the ground by a hired contractor, according to Bath-Richfield Kiwanis officials.

Richfield Village Mayor Bobbie Beshara attended the dedication and helped cut the ribbon that had been placed around the park’s newest feature. Several food trucks also were on hand to sell refreshments.

Kiwanis members are shown above, from left, at the dedication ceremony, posing on and near one of the new climbing rocks: (front row) Jerry Martin, Joe Campbell, Joel Mader, Bud Boote, Marcia Boote, Nancy Sandlin, Helen Martin, Jordan Bailey, Frank Stuchel and Kiwanis Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Wilson; (second row) Nora and Floyd Ostrowski; (third row) John Ramsey, Larry Sandlin and Mike Pantaleano; (fourth row) Leroy Martin, Mike Marks, Barb Bailey and Denny Bloomer; and (top row) Alan Penn and Mike Wheeler, a Richfield Village Council member.

The club, which is open to all interested community members, meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Fellowship Hall in Richfield. For more information, go to www.bathrichfieldkiwanis.org.

— By Ariel Hakim

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