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Group Rallies to Rescue Kids Castle

Come to Kids Castle in Doylestown's Central Park tonight to find out how to help save the iconic playland.

Fifteen years of small feet hiding and seeking, sliding and jousting, and pounding up and down hidden stairways have taken their toll on the "crown jewel" of Doylestown-area parks.

Built in 1997 through a massive community-wide effort, Kids Castle in Doylestown Township's Central Park is reaching the end of its lifespan. If it is to survive for future generations of children, it needs help now.

That was the message from one woman Tuesday night at the Doylestown Township supervisors' meeting. And it will be the message she and other volunteers will share tonight at a meeting - a rally, of sorts - at Kids Castle.

Dawn Byers went before the township supervisors Tuesday to ask their blessing in moving forward with a campaign to rally volunteers and raise money to pay for major renovations to Kids Castle.

"When I say restoration, I want to be clear, we’re probably looking at the complete replacement of nearly every piece of equipment in the castle over the next five years," said Byers, who helped coordinate the community effort that built the castle.

"We’d like to try to keep the castle itself, the iconic piece, if we could," she said. "So we’re looking at restoring that. That’s the iconic piece of Kids Castle. That’s the draw, that’s why it was built."

Byers stressed that the structure itself still is safe for children to play on. The renovations and repairs needed now will ensure the playground lasts for many more years, she said.

Hundreds of people have rallied to the cause.

More than 1,000 people have joined the "Save Kids Castle" Facebook group, and at least 70 people are expected to turn out tonight at a meeting to outline the project, Byers said.

The meeting is at the pavilion next to Kids Castle in  at 6:30 p.m. Everyone who has loved Kids Castle over the years or wants to be able to enjoy it in the future is encouraged to attend.

The group likely will form a committee to draft a plan of attack, including how much money they will need to raise and how they will go about it.

Tuesday, the township supervisors gave their unanimous support to the volunteer effort.

"I’m totally in support of saving our jewel," said supervisor Tom Scarborough. "It’s something that brings great recognition to this township."

Fellow supervisors Rick Colello and Shawn Touhill agreed, as did chairman Barb Lyons, who thanked Byers for once again stepping up to organize the effort.

"You led the creation of Kids Castle over 15 years ago, you did the 10 year anniversary redo. And now you’re back," Lyons said.

Byers said she hopes to kick off the effort and then turn much of the stewardship over to a new generation of leaders.

"For the community to have ownership, you have to sometimes let things go," Byers said. "By me stepping back, it will allow someone else to step into the gap."

 

What do you think? Should Kids Castle be saved? How can the group raise enough money to pay for the renovations? Share your ideas in the comments.

neighbor August 22, 2012 at 04:30 PM
as a mother of 2, my children have never and will never be allowed on/in kid's castle - it scares me because I can't keep my eyes on my children who are my responsiblility. Our society has too many child predators (yes , here in Doylestown too - go on the megan's law website and you find them) and I want to keep my eyes on my kids.... sorry....
michelle b-g August 22, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Statistics prove that most kids are harmed by people they know, not by strangers. Personally, I was molested by a teacher & someone I babysat for. My kids had a blast at kids castle when they were little!
Mary191 August 23, 2012 at 03:33 AM
plastic..... great idea.
qtrascal August 29, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Get up , and get in! Follow your kids! Don't deny them them life's enjoyment because you don't want to go with them. Shame on you! Enjoy local fun!!
Dawn Byers August 29, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Hey Kevin… by the way, we need you!! You should come out to our committee meeting and see if you could do some really cool video for us to go viral on Youtube!! You know that Jeff and I are big fans of yours!!! We have a brainstorming/planning meeting tonight at 6:30 at the Doylestown Township Building. Would love to have you come give your 2 cents about using plastic too!! If you would consider, joining our effort, fill out our on line volunteer form http://doylestownalive.com/kidscastle/volunteer.cfm

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