Union Pacific employees in North Platte, Nebraska, dug deep – literally – to prepare a site in Centennial Park for a new Community Build Playground, funded in part with a $10,000 grant from Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program.
The playground will welcome children of all abilities as they run, roll, swing or slide along equipment designed for inclusive play. The previous community playground was coated in pea gravel preventing children using wheelchairs from fully engaging with fellow classmates. Now those barriers are gone -- the new playground is covered with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant rubber-matting and was redesigned to better meet neighborhood needs.
"It felt so good to be a part of this huge community effort," said Christine Marshall, a Union Pacific Mechanical employee. "We worked side-by-side with local leaders to complete a project that will serve the community for years to come."
On the first day of construction, Union Pacific provided personal protective equipment, water and lunch from local food-truck vendors to help volunteers maintain high-energy levels as they tackled construction tasks.
Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program awards grants to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, funding priority local causes that highlight: Safety, Workforce Development and Community Spaces. Community Spaces grant recipients create diverse and inclusive destinations where families, businesses and visitors want to be.
The Community Build Playground in Centennial Park is scheduled to open for play in late September.