An unfenced outdoor play area in Burton soon will get new playground equipment, a fence and a pavilion, thanks to a grant from Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and the Lower Colorado River Authority.
The $15,000 Community Development Partnership Program grant will enable the St. John’s Church of Christ to complete a group of projects totaling over $100,000 that will upgrade the play area for children on church property, while also providing a welcoming space for adults to gather and hold events.
The space has not been used much lately because it is not fenced and does not provide any shade. The project will add fencing and the new pavilion will provide shade to provide some relief from the Texas heat.
In addition, the project will enable the church to spruce up its current playground equipment, which is geared toward older children, and install new equipment that will be more accessible for younger children.
“The visionary phase for this happened around three years ago,” St. John’s Pastor Darrin Holub said. “It came about because we want to have a place for everyone. This is for people who live in Burton or visit Burton to come together and disconnect from technology.”
The project is important to the community because it will provide a nice, safe and centrally located park with easily accessible parking for visitors, Holub said. The playground will be open to the public seven days a week.
In addition to providing a place for children to play, the space is used for fundraisers, family reunions, Vacation Bible School, 4-H meetings and various celebrations, said Meghan Windham, St. John's UCC playground fundraising chair.
“There is so much excitement around this,” Windham said. “And now with this grant, there is this feeling in the community that this is really going to happen – it’s not just a plan on paper now.”
The project will also include some landscaping, drainage and concrete work.
The community grant is one of six grants being awarded by Bluebonnet and LCRA through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.