Local News: TOP STORY OF THE DAY – A new coat of paint (6/20/23) | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Baileigh Stewart paints one of the slides at Forest Park.

Ivy Jacobs Photo

Forest Park’s playground equipment got a facelift recently thanks to a girl scout’s gold community service project about child safety.

Baileigh Stewart, 18, was visiting Forest Park when she noticed some playground equipment needed repair. Bailey is a member of Girl Scout Troop 22902.

“I noticed there were like big chunks of paint cracking and coming off. I thought maybe I could restore it,” Bailey said. “I was afraid little children, like toddlers, would try to put it in their mouth or something.”

Baileigh thought that if she could paint and refurbish a few of the playground pieces, it would make the park a better and safer place.

Baileigh chose four pieces; the bouncy rocket, two slides, and the turtle for her project. However, the bouncy rocket has a spring broke that needs repair. She is looking for someone who can fix it.

Eli and Shawn were happy to play on the newly painted slide at Forest Park.

Ivy Jacobs Photo

Of the other three pieces, one of the slides has a square piece cutaway from the structure, and she is looking into finding a repair to fix it. The slide is painted, but Baileigh wants to fix the hole in the metal to protect the children who play on it.

The second slide is completed, and the minute the caution tape came down, there were kids in line to play on the slide.

“Tommy Turtle” or “Mr. Turtle” was one of the pieces to receive attention, and it got the attention of many residents who remember playing on it when they were children. Many people took to social media to talk about how nice it is to see it cleaned up for a new generation of children to play on.

While the primary paint job was completed, detailing the large metal turtle’s face needed some special work. One of Baileigh’s friends was at Forest Park Friday afternoon – and stopped through the weekend – to help design the turtle’s new face and check how the paintwork is drying.

In 2017, the local childhood legend “Tommy Turtle” — the playground icon that entertained small children at Forest Park for more than 50 years — got a makeover that spring.

“Tommy Turtle” gets a facelift.

Ivy Jacobs Photo

Brazil Parks Superintendent Marv Moon said research into the beloved turtle’s history at that time found that it is one of only three still in working operation in the parks throughout the country.

“We’re taking care of it as best we can,” Moon said.

Baileigh Stewart lives in Brazil and is the daughter of Christopher Stewart and Summer Britton.

Caroline Robison is Baileigh’s proud scout leader. She said Baileigh’s project should be completed in a few days, but a few more Girl Scout gold projects are being completed at Forest Park.

The projects include a flower beautification at the bandshell and restroom area, and a new hopscotch area at the park.

The troop also has a young lady working on a butterfly garden at the walking trail in Seelyville.


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