We would like to express our sincere disappointment with the Douglas County Office of Education’s decision to remove all of the playground equipment from the District Office located on Mono Avenue in historic old town Minden. This is something they have been attempting to do for several years now, and they have finally succeeded.
Approximately two years ago they came door to door in the neighborhood asking for our blessing to remove some of the unsafe playground equipment with the promise that they would replace the unsafe equipment with more modern playground equipment. They stressed that they would not remove the swing set or one set of monkey bars. Well, with much hesitation, we agreed to their request. To this day, there has been no new playground equipment replaced. However, the swings and the monkey bars remained which continued to draw several children/families daily to the playground. Much to our surprise, they removed the swing set and monkey bars last week. When questioned about why they removed the equipment, they claimed it was not up to code and that they had no plans to replace any of the playground equipment. The swing set was made of galvanized steel pipe with heavy duty chain, heavy duty rubber seats and was set in concrete. What could have possibly not been up to code? There is nothing on the market that could be better built than what was already there and had been there for many decades.
Possibly the intentions of the school board and superintendent are to install a couple of reclining chairs and a few sofas so that the kids could bring their handheld computer games and hang out in the playground in comfortable surroundings. In this day and time when childhood obesity is at an all time high, we find it disturbing that our own school district would choose to not promote outdoor exercise. It was not uncommon to see a variety of all ages, from toddler to elderly, swinging daily from that swing set.
In the 19 years that we have lived across the street from the playground, we have never seen a single person hurt while playing in the playground. We did however, see the joy that the playground brought to people of all ages. Douglas County School District should be ashamed of themselves and their recent decision to remove something that had historic value and had been a part of this community/neighborhood for more years than the people who made to decision to destroy such history have been alive.
George and Jody Brunz