MITCHELL, Iowa – Wyatt Gonnerman is a ball of energy. He never stops moving and says pretty much whatever comes to mind.
And like most 5 year old’s, he has a favorite game.
He said, “I like to play pirates. You’re on the boat and you try to push him off the boat, because that’s the pirates boat.”
The problem: He doesn’t really have a safe place to play pirates with his friends.
And the town basketball court isn’t in tip-top shape either.
9-year-old Gavin Carson said, “It’s not too good, every time I shoot a basket my ball gets stuck and there’s grass all over.”
That’s why Jessica Carson is working to create a new city park not just for kids, but for the entire community.
Mitchell City Park Project Manager, Jessica Carson said, “We want to do a complete overhaul of the basketball court, so we’re going to put in a multi-sport adjustable net, so you can play basketball, volleyball badminton and tennis.”
But the idea of a new playground in an empty lot is what Jessica’s daughter is looking forward to most.
8-year-old Kayli Carson said, “I wish there was like a playground so your friends could play there so you wouldn’t be bored in Mitchell.”
And so far Jessica’s efforts are paying off. The volunteer-based project has raised more than $30,000 towards the multi-sport complex and playground.
But she knows there’s still a long way to go.
Carson said, “We’re looking in the neighborhood of $40,000 for that and although it seems like a lot, we’re in the process of applying for grants and asking for donations as well.”
Mitchell does have a small park and campsite right next to the river, but that’s yet another reason to get the project rolling.
Carson said,”It has a lot of campers and so you just never really know who’s camping there, where they’re from. So while we’re very proud of that park, it’s not really some place we feel comfortable allowing our kids to socialize by themselves.”
As plans move forward Jessica hopes sometime soon, the town will have a spot everyone can enjoy.
“They’re just tired of being inside, they want to be able to play outside and have fun and be safe at the same time.”
And even Wyatt is confident the community will be able to make it happen.
“It’s gonna be a good park. I’m gonna come here everyday right dad?”