The Church on the River is raising funds to upgrade its playground in hopes of opening it up (and offering water) to visitors to Big River Crossing.
The church sits just below the Tennessee-side gate of the pedestrian bridge, which spans the Mississippi River. Its playground is now a large, grassy area, fenced for security. It has a swing set, some plastic climbing structures, and a large shade tree.
As for the Big River Crossing entrance, according to a statement from the church, “There are no additional amenities: no playground, no benches, no picnic tables, no shade, not even a drinking fountain.” But the church has begun a fund-raiser on the ioby crowd-funding website
to change that and open the area up to all. The church wants a ”a true family-friendly destination, where children can safely play and adults can relax and find water and shade.”
The church wants to replace the current play structures with larger, more diverse play equipment, install a safe surface and drainage, build a concrete walkway from the path to the play area, install benches and picnic tables, plant new trees and other foliage, and extend water lines form the church to the area for a water fountain.
“But while we have the available space on our property, and the desire to share it, we are just a small congregation and, therefore, do not have the funds to make all the necessary improvements,” reads the group’s page on ioby. “While our congregation will fund many of these improvements, we are also seeking donations and grants from other sources.”
As of Thursday morning, the group has raised $6,138 of the $21,777 needed to fully fund the project.
The funds raised on ioby will specifically fund the extension of the water line for a foundation and a play area for toddlers.
The area would be reserved for church use only on Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon and during some occasional church events.
“We believe this playground would benefit the quality of life not only for families who live in the South Main/Downtown area, but also families from across Shelby County who visit the Big River Crossing, and adults who walk, run, or bike across the bridge,” reads the ioby page. “Our church's desire is to be a ’good neighbor’ to all.”
For more information, visit the church's ioby