Roachdale citizen takes park in own hands

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Tammy Folck (above) and Tina Gurney (left) take a hand at painting the playground equipment at Roachdale Park. Folck took on the project of revamping the park after becoming concerned about the state of the equipment she let her grandkids play on. With help from people like Gurney and her family, Folck has been able to bring in new picnic tables, repaint most of the equipment and improve the park in town.

ROACHDALE -- Tammy Folck took her grandkids and some neighborhood children to Roachdale park one day, and what she saw at the park didn't make her happy.

"I asked, 'Who takes care of the park?'" Folck said.

Her one question led her to find out that while the town itself took care of trash and some maintenance, the park was mostly left alone.

Folck decided to take action and came to a town council meeting at the beginning of the year with an idea to improve the park. She presented the board with an idea of what might need to be done and what is required by Indiana State Code to make the park area safer for those who use it.

The council asked Folck to bring a presentation to a meeting, showing details on what would need to be done and what her plan of attack would be. She did this and continued to push her project.

"I went to the board and they started asking more questions about the project," Folck said. "I was even more determined to do this."

Folck finally gained the approval of the town council to continue on her quest to redo Roachdale park.

Since then Folck and her team of volunteers have accomplished many things, including gaining donations to have new picnic tables made, painting all the equipment, hanging new baby swings, rewiring the picnic shelter and removing old fencing in the back area of the park.

"You can paint all day long," Folck commented. "But if you don't take care of it, none of that painting will matter."

All these improvements to the park come from the hands of several volunteers looking to make changes in the community. The Gurney family has been putting in some eight-hour days to get painting done and whatever else is necessary to help Folck.

Folck has noticed a stark difference in how the park is treated by patrons.

"In the kids, you can see a sense of pride now," she commented.

There are bigger plans in the works for improving the park, too.

Folck hopes to have the cement patio of the shelter redone, along with having the basketball courts redone and having all of the equipment repainted by this September.

After September Folck is looking to a bigger project of writing grants over the winter to help get new equipment for the playground. The equipment that would need to be purchased would cost around $30,000.

"The swirly slide will stay though," Folck laughed after several people had asked her if the large slide would stay after the purchase of new equipment.

The work continues for Folck and her group of volunteers for the next few months. Folck is always looking for new volunteers and welcomes any who wish to help.

For more information on the Roachdale park improvement check out their facebook page at

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