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Tot Spot to open Saturday
Free hotdogs, stickers
new slt totspot

The grand opening of Great Bend’s newest playground area, The Tot Spot, is set for 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29.
The playground equipment for preschoolers is located on the northeast corner of Brit Spaugh Park, north of the water park and next to the existing playground equipment for elementary age children.
 Hot dogs and refreshments will be served, and a few remarks will be made by representatives from the two organizations that spearheaded the project, Barton County Young Professionals and the Great Bend Rotary. All children who attend will receive a special sticker to wear, and they will get the first opportunity to play on the new playground equipment.

The Tot Spot is an early childhood playground that is targeted for children under the age of 5. It is centered around musical and educational elements that will encourage physical activity and early childhood development in a safe environment. With a maximum deck height of 48 inches, this playground is designed to reduce the likelihood of injuries for toddlers. An infant learning panel also helps include the “tots” under the age of 2 who aren’t mobile enough to climb on equipment.
The area also features a permanent shade structure and eight benches. A bonded rubber surface provides a solid padding that is safe for children to play on, that is smooth for strollers to roll across, and solid so that messy debris won’t get carried home in shoes.

This project was completed after months of fundraising and planning.
More than $50,000 was raised to purchase the equipment from Noah’s Park and Playgrounds, said Rachel Mawhirter from the Young Professionals Steering Committee.
“Brit Spaugh Park has picnic shelters, rest room facilities, and it has the great elementary-aged playground equipment,” Mawhirter said. “Now with ‘The Tot Spot’ being added next to the existing playground, this will be a place where kids of all ages can play in one gathering.”
The Rotary Club and Young Professionals exceeded their fundraising goal and ended up with roughly $54,000. Great Bend Director of Public Lands Scott Keeler and his staff assisted with the assembly and wanted to improve upon the project.
“Scott suggested if we had extra money in our budget, the city staff can build a sidewalk around the playground,” Mawhirter said. “Installing a sidewalk is something we never thought we would be able to do.”