Playground equipment

Long-time Florida residents Carolyn and Fran Mullen recently donated playground equipment to the Gessner Family Park in the village. An open house will be held at the park at 11 a.m. Saturday.

FLORIDA — A local couple saw a need in the community and decided to address it.

Carolyn and Fran Mullen recently donated playground equipment to the village’s Gessner Family Park, and an open house is being held to celebrate at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Carolyn, who served as the village’s clerk/treasurer for more than 20 years, explained the couple has been traveling recently and they noticed something throughout their travels.

“We saw nice playgrounds all over,” Carolyn said. “We thought we would like to see something like that in Florida.”

The new playground equipment, which includes slides and swings, replaced equipment that was moved from the former Florida School 40 years ago.

“It was time for an update, and I know funds are really limited as to what we can do here,” Carolyn said, adding Florida doesn’t have civic organizations or many businesses donating toward parks and recreation items as other communities do.

“We wanted to give back,” Fran added.

The village accepted the donation and the playground equipment was installed last fall.

“I see it being used quite a bit,” Carolyn said, adding while many of the households with children in the village have their own playground sets, she also envisions the park equipment utilized for children visiting their grandparents, as well as those passing through the village. “They enjoy bringing their grandchildren down here.”

The park, which was named after former mayor and clerk Kathleen Gessner, also features a shelter house and restrooms, and Carolyn said she hopes the new playground equipment leads to further development, maybe the addition of benches for adults to sit on as kids play.

“I would like to see this spark some revitalization,” she added.

The park is located along East High Street (County Road 424) in the village.

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