Missouri Belle Playground Launches Full Steam Ahead At Drake Harbor

The much-anticipated new playground at Drake Harbor was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 13.  The playground called Steamboat Landing pays tribute to the historical steamboats which docked at Warsaw during the 1800s.
Speakers at the ribbon cutting included City Administrator Randy Pogue who was instrumental in submitting a grant to the Missouri State Parks to build the $226,169 playground on Drake Harbor.
Pogue expressed his appreciation to the Warsaw Mayor Eddie Simons as well as the rest of the city council for their work to improve the community and offer families a safe place to take their children to play.
“In the 24 years I have served as city administrator, we have continued to work on improvements to the city and surrounding area with bike trails, walking trails and this beautiful park on Drake Harbor,” said Pogue.
Pogue also expressed appreciation to Hawthorn Bank president Chuck Allcorn for their donation of $3,000 and Walmart for a donation of $1,500.  The added donations paid for benches placed around the playground for parents to sit while their children played.
Pogue also mentioned that the playground area wasn’t finished.
“I plan to start writing a grant to expand the playground to include a 24 x 24 pavilion with tables and benches so families can have picnics and other activities close by the area where their children can play,” said Pogue.
The expanded playground may also include swings, climbing walls and replicas of spoonbill and trees for the children to climb through.
“We plan to continue with the river theme,” said Pogue.
Also on hand at the ribbon cutting were Rebecca Rost, the section chief for grant management for Missouri State Parks, and Patti Reed, outdoor recreation grant planner for Missouri State Parks.
Both Rost and Reed commented on the beauty of the area and how the playground was very unique and reflected the area well.
Bill Wickham, one of the designers of the playground, remarked that the playground was not only functional but would also serve as a way for children to learn about the history of the area.
“This is a one-of-a-kind playground,” said Wickham.  “We plan to take pictures of this to use in our catalog so we can show customers how we can create unique playgrounds that area special for a particular community.”
Children from Warsaw North Elementary School walked down the hill for the ribbon cutting to be among the first to use Steamboat Landing.  All the children agreed it was a fun place.
Mayor Eddie Simons was pleased with the end result of the two years of planning and work.  “I am especially impressed with the soft padding on the ground to keep children safe and to cut down on the maintenance,” said Simons.