Wayne County’s next all-or-nothing fundraising campaign to improve a small community’s recreational opportunities has begun. 

The town of Milton is trying to raise $50,000 by 10 p.m. May 18. If successful, the project will receive a matching grant as part of Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s (IHCDA) CreatINg Places program.

“With your support, the Milton Community Park can continue to be a place for friends and family to gather,” said Heather Reece, Milton’s deputy clerk, in a news release. “Your investment will ensure a fun space for young and old alike.”

Funds from Milton’s campaign will be used to repave existing basketball courts where the Milton Sharpshooters and neighborhood kids played. The 1923 school was demolished in 2019 after many years of deterioration. The funds would provide park landscaping, fencing, shelters and safe play equipment, such as a swing set that meets Americans with Disabilities Act standards. 

As of March 25, $100 in tax-deductible gifts had been contributed. 

“The enhancement of Milton Community Park will engage residents and visitors of all ages,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s secretary of agriculture and rural development, in a news release. “This campaign is the essence of the CreatINg Places initiative and would not be possible without the community’s support, dedication and vision.”

Donations may be delivered or mailed to Town of Milton, P.O. Box 398, Milton, IN 47357, or made online at https://wwn.to/miltonplayground.

Questions may be directed to the park committee at 765-478-3818 or miltonclerktreasurer@yahoo.com

The small towns are raising money with help from the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program.

Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County and Wayne County government are making a partial donation toward the program and encouraging gifts from around the county and beyond.

Economy campaign continues

In northwest Wayne County, Economy’s campaign has less than a month to go. So far, 62 patrons have given a total of $46,185 toward its $50,000 goal. 

Economy’s fundraising deadline is 11 p.m. April 22. Town and township leaders are eager to replace playground equipment near the community center that has not been updated in more than 70 years.  

Funds would buy climbing structures, slides, a spinner and swing set plus the installation and ground cover. 

Donations may be made at https://wwn.to/econplayground or by mailing a check to Economy Civil Town at P.O. Box 155, Economy, IN 47339.  Questions may be directed to economytown@gmail.com

Cambridge City plans in works

Cambridge City expects to ask donors for their help with a $69,000 fundraising goal starting in late April.  Dates have not yet been finalized. 

Some of the aging playground equipment would be replaced in the center of Creitz Park just north of downtown U.S. 40. 

The new equipment is to 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.

Updated March 28, 2024 at 7:26 p.m. to update the contact information for Milton playground project donations.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 27 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

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