Randolph considers improvements to parks and child safety

What’s a township to do when unsupervised kids stray off the playground and onto neighboring properties? Randolph Township Trustee Roger Klodt’s proposal to install electric fencing around the Old School Park would likely work, but was rejected by his colleagues.

Perhaps attracted by a pond near the park, kids are roaming freely, and trustees are anxious that someone might get hurt.

And it’s not just at the middle school park. Trustees are considering fencing Moyer Field to prevent kids from entering the nearby salt shed and climbing around, Klodt said. They also throw rocks at the fabric roof of the shed, not ever considering or caring that the holes must be patched. Randolph’s crews have already patched dozens of holes, and they have no desire to find $10,000 for a new roof.

Trustees ask parents to supervise their children at the parks and ask the kids to show respect for other people’s property and belongings.

Playground project still needs $100,000

Trustees also discussed progress the Fields Playground Group is making with Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground, an inclusive playground for children of all ages and abilities.

Despite robust fundraising, FPG is still in need of about $100,000 for playground equipment, and they are seeking grant money for an ADA-accessible restroom, Klodt said.

The playground is being built at Old School Park on state Route 44. It will be the only one of its kind in Portage County, joining a limited number of similar playgrounds in Ohio.

Covid cancellations 

Covid concerns led trustees to cancel this year’s Memorial Day parade and pancake breakfast. However, Klodt said the addition to the fire station is complete, and residents can view it during an open house to be held this summer.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.