Community members gathered early last month to celebrate the re-dedication of the Playscape just off of Macomb Street. The event was planned as a way to honor the efforts of the original community-wide effort 25 years ago to build a structure that was more than just a playground.
Designed by Leathers with input from Grosse Ile school children, the Playscape, also called “Adventure Island,” through the years was showing wear and tear, evidence of vandalism, and an accumulation of trash.
When Kiwanian Gerry Page was in the area working as a volunteer member of the Island Beautification Committee and picking up litter, he saw the Playscape needed repair and refurbishing. He enlisted the help of his fellow Kiwanians — especially Gary Kadau, who headed the restoration of the Playscape.
The culmination of the efforts of youth members of Kiwanis — the Key and Builders Club — and a community service day, the Playscape was transformed into a spruced-up playground.
Taking part in the re-dedication was Pam Frucci, a Kiwanian who worked on the original construction 25 years ago and acted as emcee, Supervisor Brian Loftus, who addressed the crowd, as well as Brandy Boyd, Recreation Department head, and Collie Hooper-Yan, a member of the Fundraising Committee back in 1991.
The Recreation Department paid for a lot of the materials and paint used to spruce up the Playscape. Finishing the program before refreshments were served was Island troubadour Barry VanEngelen, who sang a song written in 1976 by Catherine Stewart called “Grosse Ile, Michigan.” A display board showed clippings from the newspaper of the history of the Playscape from 1991 to 2016.