Munchkinland Playground & Fitness Trail
It took $90,000, 42,000 screws, six miles of lumber, 14,000 volunteer hours and one Kansas community coming together to construct Munchkinland playground in Washington’s City Park. A coordinating committee, aided by Leathers and Associates, Inc., worked for more than a year on organizing the construction of the playground, fund-raising events and gathering donations.
The playground, which has a Kansas/Oz theme, has a poppy field entrance, Emerald Castle, tornado slide, witches castle, monkey trapeze, tunnels, mazes, swings, an enclosed play area for toddlers and many other features including accessibility for the disabled.
"The Wizard of Oz related to Kansas," said Denise Powell, co-coordinator. "To have the mayor and his wife as former residents of Washington makes it a fitting theme."
Kenn Young and Jeb Mead, Ithaca, N.Y., were the Leathers’ consultants here to help with the build. "If the cost of labor were included, the entire project would cost $250,000," said Young. "While we would like to have had more volunteers on site" he said, "the community’s high skill level compensated well."
Some of the playground’s decorative features include the red poppies at the entrance, flying monkeys on the witch’s castle, the wicked witch inside the castle and the Wizard of Oz characters on the playground.
Three shelter houses were constructed in the fall. Stamm Masonry constructed the brick donor wall and mural soon after. The sidewalk, etched and stained to resemble the yellow brick road, was completed by Sunflower Products of Concordia.
Persons wanting to add their name to the donor wall at the playground may do so at a cost of $125 per brick. Each brick may have up to three lines of type with each line having no more than 16 characters. For more information contact Washington City Hall, P.O. Box 296, Washington, KS 66968 or phone 785.325.2284. Profits will go towards the yearly maintenance.
Munchkinland Fitness Trail
Located around the edge of Munchkinland, the Fitness Trail was funded in part with a grant received from the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansas. The grant, along with some memorial money, was used to construct the trail, a handicap accessible walking path that begins just south of the KSDS facility and leads down around the city park.
The trail includes 12 fitness stations located along the path for those individuals who wish to increase the intensity of their workout. The path also features lighting in order to enhance the safety and usability of the trail. The goal of this walking trail is to encourage citizens to remain active and include some form of exercise in their daily activities.