City parks superintendent Robbie Anderson's grandchildren no longer live in Beaufort, but she thinks of them when it comes time to improve recreation areas.
So when she drove by Tic Toc Park on North Street and realized how little it offered residents, Anderson decided to change that.
"I have taken five items out of there ... that have been rotted, or had holes in them, or had some type of injury issues that couldn't be repaired because the equipment was so old," she said. "I thought 'Gosh, we really have to do something to improve this place.' "
Anderson and volunteers, including the Boy Scouts of America Troop 1, recently installed about $12,000 worth of equipment and materials in the park. Some came from a surplus in the tool budget for Anderson's department.
Shawn Rogers, who is a certified playground installer and inspector, donated his time and skills for the installation, a savings of about $2,100, Anderson said.
Additions include a basketball court, a four-way bouncing play set and a play area for children ages 2 to 5.
The play set was paid for with a private grant from toy-equipment manufacturers, and was designed to "get the most bang for our buck." Instead of the $13,000 it would have cost retail, the city got it for the $7,000 grant, Anderson said.
Anderson said she thinks photos of Tic Toc Park and its lack of attractions made the need for the grant apparent. She plans to apply for more private grants to fix other city parks.
"If you just take pictures of what you've got, a picture is worth a thousand words," she said.
Some additional private grants for improvements to other city parks could be available for groups willing to raise matching funds, Anderson said. She said she would like to focus on Mossy Oaks and Southside parks next.
Anderson is not done with Tic Toc Park, though.
She plans to request another $13,000 from the city in the coming year's budget for rubber matting and mulch required to meet federal safety standards. She also wants to put in a "toddler tree" play set, similar to what went into Pigeon Point Park this year.
"I want to put something in for all the different age groups," she said.
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