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Nearly ready . . .  The new playground in Geraldine's Kennedy Park is nearly complete. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

by Claire Allison

Geraldine’s youngest residents will get an early Christmas present, when a new playground opens in Kennedy Park later this month.

Taking shape . . . The new playground in Geraldine’s Kennedy Park starts to take shape.

The playground, for ages up to 5, has been a community project.The money to buy the equipment has come from years of fundraising efforts by the Geraldine Plunket Committee, and the Geraldine Lions Club has provided free labour to assemble and install it.

Long-time Plunket committee volunteer Wendy Patrick said the catalyst for the playground had come from changes in Plunket’s policies, which meant funds accumulated in Geraldine were at risk of being centralised.

“We tagged it all – $25,000 – so it didn’t go out of the area. This is what we wanted to do, and it’s been a long time in the making.”

Mrs Patrick said the Geraldine Lions Club members had been brilliant.

Helping hands . . . Geraldine Lions Club members get to work installing the new playground for up to 5-year-olds.

They put it all together and put it up for us, it was absolutely amazing.”

Timaru District Council contractors would install safety matting, and then the playground would be completed. It would be officially opened on October 28.

Money donated by the widower of a Geraldine Plunket life member would be put towards installing a seat in the playground in her memory.

“I’m just so pleased that we’ve got it up. It’s been a lot of work to get to here. It’s going to be a great asset for Geraldine.”