New park opens in Providence

Providence Baptist Church held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, June 9 for the opening of the new park. It took two years from start to finish for the project to become a reality. 

Providence Baptist Church held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new community park on Sunday, June 9, in Providence. Children from around the community now have a safe, secure park to play.

Mitch Cifers, Pastor at Providence Baptist Church, said it felt good to make a dream a reality for the community. He also said it has been two years since the idea of creating the park began.

“We’d been talking about trying to do something in the community for the children to offer a safe place to play, for social interaction as well as physical activity for the kids. Hopefully it will create social time for the parents as well,” Cifers said.

He said he was happy with the turnout for the event and the rain did hold off for a bit.

“We did have a decent turnout of children,” he explained. “It probably could have been more, but that’s okay too and they were not just church members, but several families from the community came as well.”

Cifers said the goal for the playground is for children around the community to utilize the new park.

“We partnered with North Elementary School, Caswell County Parks and Recs and the Providence Fire Department to try and create a platform for the community,” he explained. “We want people to come out and use the playground even if they do not attend our church.”

He also said the church plans add to a security fence around the park to help keep children safe. “It will be a secure area with a fence around it for the safety of the kids,” Cifers said. “Fencing around the park should be completed within the month.”

Building and Grounds committee member Pam Jones said the committee looked at different playground equipment that would be appealing to the eye.

“We had a budget and kept that in mind when looking at equipment,” she said. “The committee wanted to select something that would get people's attention so we chose the red, yellow and blue equipment. We may be adding another piece in the future. The playground equipment is made from commercial grade material. There are swings, a slide, and a climbing area. The park also has benches for parents to sit.”

Moving forward the church plans to also add a shelter over the picnic tables for shade.

“You’re [the community] is more than welcome to use the playground,,” he said. “There will be a list of boundaries that we’d like families to look at and try to follow because we want this to be long-lasting. We want the property to be taken care of because I’d love to see two-three generations still be able to use it.”

Cifers said he is thankful to the Danville Regional Foundation for the Make More Happen grant.

“The grant provided some funding to help us with the completion of this part of the project,” he explained. “We had a decent portion of what the expense would have been, but they put s over the top with that [grant].”

“We definitely want to give them the credit they deserve,” he added. “Their commitment to the community is what the Danville Regional Foundation stands for.”

Annie Martinie, with the Danville Regional Foundation said, “The Danville Regional Foundation’s Make More Happen grants provide support to organizations who desire to make positive change while addressing neighborhood and community challenges. “Providence Baptist Church members embraced this opportunity, and rallied the community around the desire to create a safe place for young people to be active and a space for community members of all ages to gather. We commend Providence Baptist, Caswell County Parks and Recreation, North Elementary and all of the partners of this project in their efforts to improve the health and well-being in their neighborhood.”

Cifers said without grant funding the project would have taken longer to complete. He also said all the pieces for the project starting coming together in September, 2018.

The new park is located a couple miles from North Elementary and has plenty of parking. Cifers said he is looking forward to seeing children playing at the new park.

“Hopefully, everybody will gain from it, because children bring life,” Cifers said. “It is always good to see faces. When I see faces I see potential and with that potential I know what God can do. I know how he’s used me so, I can only imagine how he wants to use others. This is park is a way of giving to the community and provide our God given vision.”