Cambridge City is nearing the start of its fundraising campaign to improve the Creitz Park playground.

Three similar recreation campaigns are already underway in nearby communities.   

Cambridge City

Cambridge City first must successfully apply for a $50,000 CreatINg Places matching grant opportunity from Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority for the playground.

Then, to receive the matching funds, the town must raise at least $50,000. 

However, town officials have set an even higher goal. Council approved the town applying for the state grant, along with an estimated $119,000 playground budget, at its March 4 meeting. 

That means the town must raise a total of $69,000 within 60 days of the campaign’s launch, which is expected in late April. 

Depending on its condition, some of the aging playground equipment will be replaced in the center of the park, which is just a couple blocks north of downtown U.S. 40. 

Committee member Stacey Bertsch, a Western Wayne Elementary School teacher, said decisions are yet to be made about what will be removed because the current equipment is so spread out and some pieces might stay.

Bertsch said the new equipment will include swings and other pieces that are more accessible to people with disabilities as well as being appropriate for a range of ages. Paved paths also will be installed, making the new equipment more accessible to everyone.

Donation commitments have come so far from sources including Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County, Wayne County Foundation, Wayne County government, SugarCreek and First Bank Richmond to help make the town’s goal more attainable. 

Cambridge City’s comprehensive plan calls the park an underutilized asset to the community. 

“Anyone who has gone through our park knows we need to work on our park, and this is a good start,” said Debbie McGinley, a town councilor who also works for Western Wayne Schools. 

Horseshoe pits in Cambridge 

And, unrelated to the playground campaign, Creitz Park could also add new horseshoe pits later this year. 

Materials to build the pits were purchased a few years ago, but no one figured out a good place to install them. 

Community efforts recently led to the installation of a disc golf course throughout the park. Ken Risch, superintendent of public works, and councilors agreed it’s important to keep the flying discs away from the horseshoe pits. 

A review of the park map is needed to make sure the horseshoe pits are placed in the best and safest location. 

Risch will talk with the parks committee about options. The committee’s recommendation then will go to council.  

East Germantown

East Germantown’s all-or-nothing campaign to raise $50,000 for a new outdoor playground is still nearly $2,000 short with less than two weeks remaining. 

As of press time, $48,232 has been raised from 48 patrons for the Wayne County community also known as Pershing.  

The $50,000 must be raised by 11 p.m. Monday, March 25, to receive the same amount matched by Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority. 

Funds would install two new basketball goals, provide equipment for climbing, sliding and swinging, resurface the existing basketball court and surface 2,973 square feet of playing space. 

Organizers ask prospective donors to provide the community and neighborhood youth with a place to play and make memories while being active and engaged in social activities. 

Donations can be made online at, mailed to P.O. Box 248, Pershing, IN 47370, or delivered to the town office or its drop box at 206 S. Milton St.  

For more information about the East Germantown campaign, call Sheila Mills at 765-914-3303.


Meanwhile, the town of Economy’s all-or-nothing campaign for a playground next to its community center still has more than a month to go. 

So far, Economy has raised $28,760 from 37 patrons for its $50,000 plans, which include kids’ climbing structures and slides, a spinner, swing set and ground cover.   

Donations are due by 11 p.m. April 22 for Economy’s campaign, either at or by mailing a check to Economy Civil Town at P.O. Box 155, Economy, IN 47339. 

Questions may be directed to


The southern Henry County community just kicked off its $6,000 campaign. 

If enough funds are donated by 11:45 p.m. April 29, the town will demolish its old cement skating rink, build a new gravel foundation and add four inches of cement for safer and smoother skating. 

Donations can be sent via or to Lewisville Park Committee, P.O. Box 31, Lewisville, IN 47352. 

More information is available from Nancy McCullers at 765-465-1538.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 13 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.