Children in Adams, Neb., a small town located 20 miles northeast of Beatrice, Neb.-based Exmark, have a new place to play, thanks to a $25,000 donation from Exmark and its employees who installed colorful, new playground equipment July 3.
The new playground fills a pressing need in the rapidly growing Freeman School District. Previously, children in a pre-school program from ages 2 to 5 had to walk about two city blocks to the elementary school playground, where the equipment was rated for 5- to 12-year-old children and was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“This new playground provides age-appropriate equipment for all of the community’s pre-schoolers, without excluding anyone,” said Rick Olson, vice president and general manager of Exmark. “We are proud to help the Freeman School District, where so many of our employees’ children are students.”
The Freeman School District purchased property closer to the preschool program, and Exmark’s $25,000 donation supplied a play structure, surface, cement path and fence. Six Exmark employees braved blistering temperatures July 3 to install the equipment, which is rated for 2- to 5-year-olds and is ADA compliant.
Each year, the Exmark Community Giving Committee donates money for projects in the communities where Exmark employees live and work. The committee’s first donation, in 2006, created Roszell-Exmark Park, and its 2011 donation of $25,000 went to the new Beatrice Athletic Complex.
Exmark wanted donations to reach beyond Beatrice city limits, too, so it looked this year to the Freeman School District. While most Exmark employees live in Beatrice, the second-highest number of employees reside in the Freeman School District.