Monday, Sep 01, 2014
  • Home
Pasco News

NPR Rotary promoting playground for Grey Preserve

Published:   |   Updated: June 7, 2013 at 09:43 AM

NEW PORT RICHEY - With three sons of James E. Grey as long-time members, Rotary Club of New Port Richey leaders wanted to do something special for the Grey Preserve that bears the name of the local pioneer.

As the only city park without a playground, the Grey Preserve could gain a facility where youngsters can romp if a Rotary district grant is approved.

That's the word from Craig McCart, the president of New Port Richey Rotary through the end of the month. The next president, Doug Benjamin, will shepherd the project, which could come together by this fall.

The addition perhaps could attract more visitors to the 80-acre site tucked away among woods along the Pithlachascotee River, Rotary officials hope.

The GameTime playground could accommodate children ages 2-5 and have areas suited for youths 5-12 years old, McCart explained.

The playground would be placed in an open area in the middle of the picnic pavilions at the preserve.

"We have applied for a Rotary District 6950 Future Visions matching grant," McCart wrote in a recent email. "While the price listed on the brochure says the cost is $32,300, we will be able to qualify for some other discounts which will reduce the price to $29,900."

District matching grants are for projects that are less than $30,000, McCart said. The Rotary Club of New Port Richey has pledged to provide $15,000 of the costs through club funds and other contributors that would like to participate in providing the playground.

The local club is asking for a matching grant of $14,900. The city parks and recreation department would handle site preparation.

The Grey Preserve already has restrooms, canoe launch area, a half-mile boardwalk through the forest, a fishing pier, two miles of hiking trails, a special-event pavilion and more, according to the Rotary grant application.

About 140 types of birds call the preserve home, so it's no mystery why the area is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.

The preserve "offers spectacular viewing opportunities for deer, wild board, turtles and manatees," the grant writer pointed out.

The playground vendor met with Rotary members and Elaine Smith, the city's parks and recreation director, at the site.

"We will be using earth tone colors to help to blend the playground with its surroundings," McCart said.

"They wanted to get the best bang for their buck," Jim Sims, territory manager for Dominica Recreation Products and Game Time, said. Based in Longwood, north of Orlando, DRP holds franchise rights in Florida to GameTime products, based in Fort Payne, Ala., northeast of Atlanta.

Billed as a "turnkey approach to your perfect playground," the GameTime equipment would include installation and a three-year warranty, Sims said during a phone interview. Installation typically takes about six weeks.

The value of the Aventura model playground lists at $50,000. The facility stands about 6 feet tall and covers an area of 34 feet by 42 feet, according to a company brochure. The playground has a capacity of 45 to 55 children.

Sims had worked before with city officials on a Frances Avenue Park project.
The centerpiece for the firm in the area is Largo Central Park, a project worth about $600,000, Sims said.

Trending Now

Part of the Tribune family of products