Let's give Detroit kids someplace to play.
Many of the playgrounds in Detroit are missing their swings. They have swing sets, but there are no swings hanging from them. It is my experience that these missing swings are not the acts of vandals or wrong-doing, just a function of age. Rubber swings only last so long out in the elements. Unfortunately, the city of Detroit doesn't have the budget to replace them all, so who will?
We will. And by "We" I mean you (the donor) and us, The Mower Gang (the volunteers).
Who is the Mower Gang: We're a group of renegade do-gooders and unauthorized landscape artist. We make our magic within the mostly abandoned parks of Detroit. Mower Gang events usually attract about 20 people: hipsters, gear-heads, and do-gooders.
We've been around since mid-2010. This isn't very long, but we are off to a strong start: We have resurrected an abandoned velodrome (banked bicycle racing track), repaired a giant cement whale, cleaned up a riverfront park, mowed playgrounds, turned an overgrown field into a maze and labyrinth, and helped stage bicycle races. Our facebook page has over 500 fans, and we've been mentioned in the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, and we've been interviewed on NPR.
This year will be a good one for the Mower gang. We are planning 4-8 projects that will find and bring life to hidden gems in the city of Detroit. Our focus is on taking the city's resources and restoring or creating places for children to play outside. This project is our first of the year.
When Will This Happen: The process begins on Sunday, March 20th, our first event of the year. The Gang is going to spread-out and scan 81 playgrounds of the city to get a survey on what equipment needs repair and replacement. From there we'll use these funds and whatever other resources we can beg and borrow. Then we'll send small groups to replace swings, fix broken equipment, and polish-up playground slides. The result should be a maximum return on your donation.
My estimate is that there are over 200 missing swings in the city, if we collect enough money to buy 40 swings, we'll put them in the playgrounds that are nearest to where children seem to live and play.
What will your donation buy? Your donation will be used to buy swings, chain, hardware (nuts, bolts, welding materials), and food for the gang. The Mower Gang will provide labor, tools, transportation, gasoline, and most everything else. My company (PriveCo Inc.) provides t-shirts for any volunteer who attends 2 events, use of our company van, and a home depot gift card for miscellaneous expenses. You're donation goes a long way with the Mower Gang.
How Much Does A Swing Cost? We've scoured the Internet to find the best price on a commercial grade, durable belt swing with a chain and found them for $70 (free shipping), http://www.mdmaterials.com/mm5/merchant.mvc... We expect the average swing to require about $10 worth of hardware to install (two clevises, bolts, and nuts). So a donation of $80 will give a playground a swing!
How Much Are We Asking For? We have set our goal at $800 for this project. That would be ten swings. If we collect more money, we'll install more swings. With an estimated 200 swings missing in the city, it is unlikely that we will collect more funds that we can spend, we just wanted to set the target at a reasonable amount so that we can get something done. So, if you visit this project and we've already met our goal, please continue to donate. We'll spend your money very wisely.
Thanks for reading.
- (30 days)