Monday, March 04, 2024

Prairie Play Pavers

Back in 1995 the Prairie Play Playground at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana, IL, a large wooden structure that looks a bit like a castle, was constructed using volunteer labor including my own.  It was also financed, at least partly, by the sale of over 1200 concrete pavers.

The pavers were 16x16x4 inch cement slabs that weighed about 80 pounds each.  You could pay for a paver, and then write your name or whatever you liked in the wet cement.  The pavers were then laid out around the outside of Prairie Play.  At the time, my family ordered 2 pavers, and my 4 (at the time) daughters left handprints in the wet cement, along with their names, and the date 4-95 for April 1995.

The playground is set for tear-down early this month after nearly 30 years.  The park district reached out to the community, making pavers available to their original owners.  Saturday morning I drove out with my youngest daughter (not born yet in 1995) and we retrieved our 2 pavers.  Those pavers now reside in the garden on either side of the porch in front of my house, and still show those 1995 handprints of my 4 oldest girls, who are now 38, 37, 34, and 30.

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