Massena playground is worth time, effort to save
Monday, June 16, 2014 - 8:26 am

To the Editor:

A lot of my friends are concerned about the future of the “creative playground” on Danforth Place in Massena. I just heard that there was a private vote to demolish this playground!

I have been told that it’s in a state of disrepair, and that drug deals are being made there. These are serious concerns, definitely. But hundreds of us Massena residents pitched in thousands of man-hours to build it in the first place.

I’ve seen photos showing the slivered boards, the faded paint, and the lack of stain and sealer that is supposed to be applied regularly to keep the wood in good condition. After the phenomenal effort to build the playground in the first place, it’s disturbing that there would be a private, closed door vote ending in a decision to tear it all down! If the residents of Massena put so much of our time and money into it, to the glee of our children for the past quarter of a century, then the residents should be a part of any decision regarding the future of this once-fabulous play place.

The playground can be saved. We built it with a great deal of sweat and love, and they came. I have hundreds of photos of my son, other children, friends, other relatives, and total strangers, who flocked to the playground week after week, year after year by the carloads. It was a fantastic, safe environment for our children. If it needs fixing up, we’ll get some volunteers that will be more than happy to pitch in, just like when it first rose out of the ground. Local businesses would surely offer screws, stain, lumber, paint, and some cordless drills and other tools, so that this resurrection can happen.

But tearing it down? Why, because there are drug deals going on there? I have little doubt that reviving the playground will bring the families back. If anybody thinks the parents of our community won’t re-take the playground for the sake of our children, especially from some low life drug dealers, then they don’t know the resolve of the great North Country citizens! The playground is a one minute drive from the police station. I’m sure that Timmy Currier would see to it that our playground is cleansed of the riffraff that threatens the safe enjoyment of a popular community destination. Our dedicated police force has already shown that it can and will deal with the criminal element that has crept into our once peaceful little town.

Don’t let this happen in Massena, my friends. In my travels everywhere, I run into folks who know the North Country that you and I grew up in. They know the integrity of the men and women who come from our neck of the woods. I’ve been given business opportunities from total strangers because they know good people in Waddington, Potsdam, Madrid, Malone, Saranac Lake, and the list goes on.

Please don’t give up on Massena and don’t tear down the playground of our children. I am ready with my labor and some tools.

Bronic “Bud” Zagrobelny

Formerly of Massena