We believe Orange is a great place to visit and raise a family, and as such we are lending our support to this community project and Julie Sherman.
Seventeen years ago, Julie Sherman had a dream. As a 30 year resident of Orange, Virginia and an avid walker, she often strolled past a lonely hill with her friend and remarked: “Wouldn’t that be a great place for a playground?” Julie shared her playground dream with H.B. Sedwick, Sr, the owner of the lot, and with a twinkle in his eye, he generously agreed to let Julie use the property for our playground. $33,000 and one year later, in the summer of 2002, with much community involvement, the dream became a reality and was named the Hazel B. Sedwick Community Park.
Russ Anderson, a good friend of Hazel and H.B. Sedwick, donated many hours of his time building and engraving family names on the $10 fundraising pickets. The Lions Club and Junior Women’s Club helped sell raffle tickets and a local trucking company picked up the playground equipment for free and hauled it all the way from Alabama to Orange. The Orange Lions Club also donated many hours assembling the playground structure and many, many local businesses donated valuable services that brought the value of our playground to $75,000. It truly was a community effort and well worth the time and investment. Many people have commented over the years what the playground has meant to them and how many new friends that they have met there.
Julie happily spearheaded the project because she knew how much our community needed that park. The town agreed to mow the lawn and keep the trash collected and the local mulch distributors donated mulch and the boy scouts spread it out for us. Now its time to keep our community park alive and well with fresh mulch and new equipment. Julie’s playground distributor says that most playgrounds have a lifespan of 20 years, but she just can’t bear the thought of putting this playground out to pasture with so many little children and families looking for a place to play and get to know their neighbors. Julie still has a dream that our beautiful community playground can continue to be a place for all to gather and that we can raise the money needed to get it back in tip-top shape!
Where do we go from here?
It’s June 2018 and we know that many of you would love to give our beloved park a restoration. It will cost approximately $1,500 each year to refresh the double shredded hardwood mulch. Some of the slides and handicapped swing will need to be replaced soon. Julie would like to raise $10,000 by the end of 2018. Her team will be restoring the playground in stages as we raise the necessary funds or as people donate supplies.
- Add new double shredded hardwood mulch in all of the playground areas.
- Replace all boards on benches
- Replace handicapped swing
- Replace picnic tables
- Patch or replace paved walking path around the park
- Fix or replace water fountain
- Add additional lighting in the playground area
- Add small toddler area (if possible)
- Add awning for shade
- Replace fence
Let’s keep the dream alive!
If you are interested in helping us by volunteering or donating funds please contact:
Julie Sherman – Playground Founder