Serving Roseau County for over 100 Years - The Official Roseau County Newspaper

Roosevelt Playground Project Is Completed

by Laurel Latham

On Monday, June 26, the small town of Roosevelt was blessed with perfect weather to assemble the new playground equipment on the north side of the Centennial Park Pavilion.

There were blue skies and sunshine with a temperature of 60 degrees at 7 a.m., when the group of volunteers arrived ready to work. Three employees from Northwoods Playground Company supervised the volunteers and supplied the tools for the job.

The playground area was first squared off, holes were marked and efficiently dug by an auger. Pieces of wood were placed in the holes and then the posts were cemented in place.

While the platform was being constructed, teams of volunteers assembled the many components of the playground. Once the playground equipment was completely installed on the platform, black border timber was placed around the playground, and wood chips were generously spread from border to border. What was previously thought would take 10-12 hours to complete was finished by 3:30 p.m.

"The playground was a community effort," said Roosevelt Recreation Association President, Mae Jeffrey. "Mitch's Kitchen,Warroad, donated pulled pork to feed the volunteers during their noon break. The Hawk donated fried walleye to serve the workers at 5 p.m. Several side dishes were donated by community residents to accompany the pulled pork and walleye. No volunteer went home hungry!"

During the summer of 2019, Mae Jeffrey had stopped at the Williams City Park to give her children time to play at the playground and burn off some energy before nap time.

"When I saw how much fun my kids were having, I thought about how Roosevelt should have a playground for the kids as well , "she recalled. "I brought up the idea to the Roosevelt City Council and heard a playground was suggested a decade ago, but then never went anywhere. A committee was formed to work on the project, which turned out to be a much bigger project than what we had thought it would be at first. Unfortunately the pandemic also slowed us down."

As time went by, many original committee members dropped out and new ones joined the committee. Mae Jeffrey found herself President of the Roosevelt Recreation Association. Donna Pederson remained Treasurer throughout the project and Brittney Fish became Secretary.

"We began getting donations in 2020," reports Donna Pederson. "Everyone was excited and happy to donate toward the new playground. We are very grateful for all the donations that came in during 2020-2023."

Donna's records as Treasurer are clear and concise with all private donations, fundraising profits and expenses noted. The first donation was sent by Carole Nordine in the amount of $200. Donations were also received from Mike and Kathy Nordine, the Hendricksons, the Christiansens and Schreiner families and a $500 donation from the Share-n-Care thrift store in Warroad.

"We had several fundraisers," explained Mae Jeffrey. "We had a broomball tournament at the Roosevelt Arena, a pancake breakfast and a kiddie carnival at the Flea Market. We sold Roosevelt mugs. But it was the donations that truly made the playground possible."

Private donations arrived from the Ravndalen, Oseid, Claypool, Wolford, Dettore, Stewart, and Zimney families. Suzanne Grove Nelson and Barb Smith contributed funds.The Warroad Eagles Auxiliary donated $500, Share-n-Care made another donation of $525 and $500 was donated by Back Home Days in Williams.

Roseau County came through with a large donation of $15,000 in 2022, that brought the $35,000 goal needed for the playground equipment much more attainable. North Star Electric, Baudette, donated $1,000 and Security State Bank, Warroad, donated $2,000. Share-n-Care made four more $500 donations in 2022. North Star Electric donated another $1,000 and Marvin donated $3,000. Funds for purchasing playground equipment were finally very near the Roosevelt Recreation Association goal. Money continued to trickle in from donation jars, a string-art fundraiser, and a donation from the American Legion Auxiliary.

In 2023, Lakewood Health in Baudette donated $5,000 to the playground project, with three more $500 donations arriving from Share-n-Care.

The group photo shows the tired and happy faces of the crew of volunteers who worked diligently to assemble the playground equipment for children to enjoy for many years to come. Mae Jeffrey and Donna Pederson, who have been with the playground project from the beginning, are relieved it is finally completed and has turned out so well. If an important project needs volunteer workers and a potluck meal to feed them, the Roosevelt community clearly steps up!

It's Not Just Play

Play is an essential part of early learning. It is the lifeblood of the learning process. As children play they are developing the cognitive, socio-emotional and physical skills they need to take them into a successful adulthood. They are developing their curiosity, problem solving, intentionality, flexibility, and verbal and non verbal skills.

Socio-emotionally they are developing their emotional intelligence by learning confidence, cooperation, negotiation, sharing, empathy and how to communicate appropriately. Physically their fine motor and gross motor skills are being practiced and developed. It's not just play. They are skills for life.--The previous two paragraphs were taken from MHC Early Childhood Solutions".

Dirt On My Shirt

There's dirt on my shirt

And leaves in my hair

There's mud on my boots

But I don't really care.

Playing outside is so much fun

To breathe clean air

And feel the warm sun.

To stomp in a puddle

Or climb a big tree

Makes me quite happy

Just look and you'll see.

Jeff Foxworthy


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