Orion Twp. receives $65,000 ‘Play Everywhere’ grant for Baldwin Rd.

A new “Playful Dragon” hybrid statue/playscape and will be coming to the pocket park on the corner of Baldwin and Jordan roads.

But, kids, watch out for the “lava” and be sure to tip toe through the “burnt forest.”

The new play feature, part of Orion Township’s ongoing efforts to create a streetscape and walkable community, is being made possible in part by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and the national non-profit KaBOOM!

Orion Township was awarded $65,000 to be used toward the construction of “a fun and innovative play area on Baldwin Road,” according to a news release from Orion Township government.

The KaBOOM! 2019 Play Everywhere Challenge grant, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, awarded $1 million for 22 projects throughout Southeast Michigan and Western New York to construct creative design ideas that make it easier for families to incorporate play into everyday moments.

“This project will be an exciting new addition to the transformation that is already taking place on Baldwin Road,” said township Supervisor Chris Barnett. “It’s our hope that by having both this pocket park, and the one planned at Baldwin and Pasadena, residents will be more encouraged to get out of their cars and enjoy the new boulevard, while making it easier to be more active outdoors and visit local businesses. In a way, creating a village-like atmosphere in the Gingellville area of Orion.”

The play structure awarded under the Play Everywhere Challenge grant is currently designed to be in the shape of a dragon and will feature a slide, “lava” balance pieces and a “burnt forest” of climbing logs and stumps.

“We are excited and honored that the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and KaBOOM! chose to partner with us once again for another project,” said Barnett. “KaBOOM! is renowned for building one-of-a-kind installations across North America. This project will be no different!”

In addition to the road enhancements, safety paths are being constructed along both the east and west sides of Baldwin Road, the pocket parks will be a great place for walkers and bikers to rest and play.

The township has worked with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and KaBOOM!, which awarded the township approximately $400,000 in 2018 for the community-built playground at Camp Agawam. – J.N.


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