Kohler-Andrae State Park playground rendering

Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park are working with Burke playground company for the new playground plans.

SHEBOYGAN — Earlier this month, the old playground equipment at Kohler-Andrae State Park was removed. Meanwhile, the Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park is only about halfway toward their fundraising goal to build a new one.

What we know:

• The wooden playground built in the '90s was removed in early December.

• The Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the park, have a goal of $100,000 to build a new, more accessible playground.

• Fundraising efforts began in January, and as of last week, the organization has raised about half of their goal with the help of donors and grants.

• The goal is to have the new accessible playground up and ready for use in 2021.

"We have almost half a million visitors every year, this is a very popular state park," explained Mary Lutzke, of the Friends organization. "We also get—in addition to campers and hikers—day users and schools that come out here for a day. We have all kinds of people we serve, so by putting up this new, more accessible playground, we can certainly reach a lot more children.

"Because of the condition of it, it was starting to be a little concerning and it wasn't really following the guidelines for a safe playground," she added. "We're working with the Burke playground equipment company to make our equipment accessible with matting over the sand for wheelchairs, handicap walking areas and also swings and things like that that are more useable by children with disabilities."

Those interested in getting involved can follow the Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park on Facebook for updates or can send donations by mail to: Friends of Kohler-Andrae, 1020 Beach Park Lane, Sheboygan, WI, 53081.

Old playground - KA

According to Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park's Mary Lutzke, the existing playground was raising safety concerns.

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