MASON CITY, Iowa - Despite the cold, kids still need a place to run around during the winter. Now there's an indoor park in the works that will allow kids a warm place to play during chilly weather.
The Climb N' Crawl Park was first conceived around 10 years ago by a group of moms and grandmothers, and started raising money, but was sidelined during the beginning planning of the River City Renaissance project, with the money that was raised being maintained in an account.
Recently, Main Street Mason City revived the park, and as of this week, $65,000 has been raised out of the targeted $110,000 goal.
The park, which is planned to be located at Southbridge Mall's center court, is about 19' X 41', and calls for soft, safe play objects like rocks, logs, trees and even a turtle and bear for kids to jump and climb on, as well as a seating area and three interactive play panels.
Austin Pehl is not only on the committee for the project, he's also seen the need.
"Having two kids under 4, it's a constant battle of...my wife and I, where do we take our kids on the weekends? Or my wife, who stays home, where does she go for the kids in the winter months if there's inclement weather?"
In addition, he feels that it fit along with the current River City Renaissance projects, and encourage more families to come to the mall.
"Certainly our committee has felt this is the best place for this. Really creating an atmosphere that more families can come gather, utilize that space, and spend more time in the mall."
Main Street Mason City will maintain ownership of the park, with Southbridge to cover liability and maintenance per an agreement.
Mercy One North Iowa has pledged around $41,000 towards the project.
If fundraising is successful, they're hoping the park will be open by next March.