Changes encourage kids to play outdoors

The city of Hawarden plans to add a zip line to its main city park with funds received from the Sioux County Community Foundation.

HAWARDEN—The city of Hawarden recently was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Sioux County Community Foundation to be used to upgrade parks and playground equipment.

In the application submitted by Hawarden city administrator Mike DeBruin, it reads, “the city of Hawarden would like to begin a replacement program for all of our unsafe playground equipment in our park system. We would like to purchase a ‘Mantis’ system from Miracle Playground Systems.”

The system is a 65 foot, low-to-the-ground, zip line that kids ages 5-12 can play on, giving them hours of enjoyment and exercise.

“Too often kids stay indoors and play video games,” DeBruin added in his application. “We want to upgrade our park system and give them a reason to play outdoors. If funded, we would gather a group of 25 volunteers, along with city staff and put the system together in our main City Park.”

The system has an estimated 20-plus year life span and could be used everyday there is appropriate weather.

DeBruin said it has the potential to impact the lives of several hundred children, just by adding this piece of equipment and other things in coming years to Hawarden’s parks and playgrounds.

“We feel that this would offer a safety measure we are currently lacking with some of the old outdated and unsafe equipment,” DeBruin said. “Collaborative and volunteer efforts would be spearheaded by several groups formed from a city visioning meeting held in October of 2018. Several of these groups have pledged to work together to provide safe recreation alternatives for our children.”

The Mantis Zip Line has been ordered and is expected to arrive shortly after July 1. Ground preparation will be done in the park before the zip line can be installed. The city’s goal is to have it up and running by Aug. 1.

“The idea is adding something different to our playground equipment,” DeBruin said.