Nordson Corporation to Donate and Build Playground in Estes Park
Cleveland based Nordson Corporation and its Fort Collins based subsidiary Value Plastics Inc. have selected Estes Park as the recipient of their 2014 Big Build, a charitable program in which Nordson supplies funding and employee volunteers to build playgrounds in and near the communities where it operates. The new playground will be built in September above the Carriage Hills ponds between Highway 7 and Carriage Drive.
Nordson is a manufacturer of precision dispensing and fluid management equipment for applying and controlling adhesives, coatings, sealants, and other fluids. In 2011, Nordson acquired Fort Collins-based Value Plastics, giving it a connection to northern Colorado. A company with a strong tradition of community support, Nordson started the Big Build program in 2006 near one of its Ohio facilities after realizing children in the area did not have a safe place to play outdoors. Since that initial project, the Big Build has become an annual event with Nordson selecting a new community every year. After the disastrous Colorado floods of 2013, Nordson decided this year’s Big Build would take place in Colorado.
“Nordson Corporation and our Value Plastics operation are proud to partner with the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District for the 2014 Big Build,” said Joan Szczepanik, Program Officer for the Nordson Corporation Foundation. “Nordson believes in supporting the communities where we do business and our employees are excited to donate their time and talent to help make a difference in the lives of local children.”
Estes Valley Recreation and Park District (EVRPD) Executive Director Skyler Rorabaugh has long wanted to add more playground spaces to the Estes Valley area—neighborhood “pocket parks” where children can come together with their families and play. Upon hearing of the Big Build, EVRPD quickly identified the Carriage Hills site as an ideal location, and put together a grant proposal. “Social spaces create community. We are excited about fostering this relationship with Nordson to enhance the Carriage Hills area and provide more opportunities for multigenerational interaction,” says Rorabaugh.
The Carriage Hills site is located next to the popular Fish Creek Trail, and is within easy reach of residents both north and south of the Carriage Hills ponds. The site is owned by the Town of Estes Park. EVRPD has verified with Colorado Parks and Wildlife that the selected build site is not in an environmentally sensitive area, and every care will be taken to be sure that this beautiful natural location is not harmed.
About 100 elementary-school age children live within easy reach of this new site, and some additional 50 preschoolers. Estes Park grandparents with visiting grandchildren will also be able to enjoy this new neighborhood attraction. A shared playground will sustain the connections many Estes Park residents created with their neighbors in the days after the flood, and will help to build a greater spirit of community as people come out of their homes to enjoy this new, shared resource.
The play structure will include slides and a variety of things to climb, along with two bays of swings and benches for seating. The installation will take place September 8 and 9, with play dates to begin soon after. EVRPD will be installing a parking area, and raising funds for restroom facilities—which it will maintain, and which will be a great addition to the Fish Creek Trail as well as the playground.
For more information, visit the EVRPD website at www.evrpd.com.