Community unites as construction nears

By Jean Volz

Adventures in Barbland is not just a play land for the children of DeKalb and its surrounding towns. The project fosters a sense of community spirit and pride that enables all members of the DeKalb community to become involved.

The concept for Adventures in Barbland was started by a group of 12 to 15 community members who wanted to build an imaginative playground for the town’s children.

On May 28, 1992, the DeKalb Park Board gave permission to this group to begin the project and also allowed them to use Cheseboro Park as the site for Barbland.

Next to Cheseboro School on Garden and Taylor Streets, Cheseboro Park awaits the construction of Barbland, which will commence on Sept. 22, 1993.

The project is of great enormity. Edie Threloff, public relations for Barbland, said the amount of lumber that is going to be used in building Barbland is equivalent to the amount of lumber needed to construct three houses.

Therefore, many volunteers are needed to build this children’s dream park.

Barbland was designed by Robert S. Leathers and Associates in New York. Most of the structures in the park are a direct result of the designer’s use of the community children’s ideas of what a dream playground would be like.

For example, there will be a cheese cottage, a human checkerboard and a Barbie crow ride, all of which were thought of by DeKalb’s children.

Funding for the project comes purely from donated money, time and goods from the community.

According to Zivka Petrevska, who is the Student Volunteer Corps coordinator for University Programming Activities, no tax dollars will be used to fund this project.

Food establishments around the NIU campus are taking an active part in collecting donations and providing food for next week’s volunteers.

Petrevska said McDonald’s on Lincoln Highway has set up donation jugs at the counters for people to donate their change, and Sgt. Pepper’s is donating food for the volunteers working on Adventures in Barbland.

Barbland Boosters has established a special commemorative project through which community residents and businesses can purchase Barbland Bricks to offset the cost of the project.

People in the DeKalb area can purchase engraved bricks which will have a special and permanent place in the playground. The bricks can be engraved to people, with a business’s logo or with a special dedication.

There is a total of 586 bricks available, including 293 red ones and 293 gray bricks. Questions concerning the purchase of Barbland Bricks should be directed to Linda Higgins at 758-1558.

Financial help to Adventures of Barbland is needed. The cost to create and construct Adventures in Barbland has been broken down by Barbland Boosters into prices for the individual pieces of equipment.

For example, the balance beam on chains costs $150, while the swing sets cost $650 each.

If you cannot help Barbland through monetary means, donating your time is just as welcome.

Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week of Sept. 22 to 26. A variety of duties still are available for people wishing to be a part of this wonderful community service project.

Positions include: skilled and unskilled builders, food providers and servers and child care workers and entertainers.

If students or faculty can spare any time during those days, it would be a great help to the Barbland committee and the DeKalb community.

The Huskie Bus #6 will take volunteers to the site next week.

The NIU Student Volunteer Corps has more information and sign-up sheets in the University Programming and Activities office, Holmes Student Center sixth floor.

Anyone can call Zivka Petrevska for information at 753-0509.

Barbland Boosters has established a special commemorative project through which community residents and businesses can purchase Barbland Bricks to offset the cost of the project.