November 5, 2021
Volunteers Lead Blast Off Playground Renovations
It’s hard to imagine summer without kids playing at Blast Off Playground. Located at Williams Park, the playground holds over 21 years of memories for Brownsburg families and visitors.
“We had just moved here in 2002,” said resident Jean Nash. “My girls were 4 and 6. I now bring my grandsons here.”
At the end of October, Blast Off was closed for the first phase of renovations to the wooden structure. Renovation work included priority repairs to replace wooden beams and posts with recycled plastic composite to better withstand weather and aging. A number of play features also were replaced.
Thanks to the hard work of more than 50 volunteers, the work was completed in just five days. The volunteers worked in freezing temperatures, rain, and wind! The rain turned much of the playground into a mud pit, making it impossible to place new posts and pour cement. This paused installation on other new features. The mud also made it impossible for large equipment to install larger features safely. Because of the unpredictable weather, some repairs were not able to be completed and were pushed to phase two of the renovation. However, the playground was still able to reopen for play on schedule.
“It really brings back a sense of pride in the community and the volunteers and everyone just kind of coming together to make it happen,” said volunteer Donna Metallic, who helped lead the playground’s construction in 2000.
The original playground was built over five days by more than 300 volunteers. Brownsburg elementary school students helped design the structure and named the playground through a vote. The cost was nearly $150,000, funded primarily by donations. As Brownsburg’s first ADA accessible playground, there were extra costs for wider ramps and wheelchair-friendly ground cover.
With such a legacy in mind, it was important for Brownsburg Parks to take extra care during renovations. All of the features that residents know and love about Blast Off are still here, but upgraded, such as the unique rocket ship design, towers, tunnels, ramps, and slides. Artistic features such as the entrance painting, tiles created by children above the swing sets, and fence boards adorned with the names of donors also remain.
Local businesses including Jimmy Johns, Rockstar Pizza, the Van Horn Family, Browning Day, Ace Hardware in Brownsburg, Williams Creek Management, V3 Companies, Security Pros, Meyer Najem Construction, Commercial Recreation Group, and Pit Stop Barbeque and Grill donated to these efforts.
Phase 2 of the playground’s renovation will begin next summer. Brownsburg Parks will need at least 50 volunteers each day for large repairs to foundational pieces of the playground, such as decking and rubber matting. The footprint of the structure will be expanded to add more play features.
Please consider supporting these renovations by donating your time or funds. Send a check made out to Brownsburg Parks with a note that your donation is for Blast Off Playground to the Hendricks County Community Foundation, 6319 E. US Highway 36, Suite 211, Avon, IN 46123. Or make an online donation, then click on HCCF General Operating. Select Brownsburg Parks Foundation Fund and complete the information requested.