Building Better Neighborhoods

By Ashley Doerzbacher

Published 05/16 2014 10:34PM

Updated 05/16 2014 10:42PM

ALTOONA - After a year and a half of planning, things are coming together for Mike Hofer and the facelifts that both Juniata Memorial Park and Prospect Park are getting.
And the dozens of volunteers, who are taking off of work and time out their schedules to help build this, are making the difference.
"Without the community support, we couldn't be here doing this. It's really their park, not ours."
"If you don't have community support, we're never going to be able to build these playgrounds,” SAID Debbie Flaig, a volunteer. “And we're not going to be able to make our community more vibrant than what it is."
But these playgrounds are more than just about fun. They're also have an impact to our local economy.
"When businesses are looking to relocate to our community, and families, they look for schools, they look for health systems, but they look for activities for their kids to do and safe places for their kids to go,” said Flaig.
Grants of nearly $300,000 are paying for playgrounds.
Sergeant Brian Freiwald with the Altoona Police Department sees the value in taking the time to build them. He wants to take a more active role in keeping crime off the streets, and building these parks is one way to do it.
"It's something that Altoona Police feels we should be involved in. anything that in the community that gives children something positive to do."
If you'd like to help, volunteers are needed both Saturday and Sunday, at each park. They'll be back building again, starting at eight o'clock in the morning.

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