Preston playground in running for Pepsi grant - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Preston playground in running for Pepsi grant


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Preston playground is one of the finalists for a $250,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project.

The playground was built in the 60's and 50 years later it's finally getting a chance at being both safe and accessible to all.

"Just being able to have a place where they all can come together would give her more interaction with her own peers," said Allison Braaten, whose daughter has problems accessing playgrounds in a wheelchair. "I see so many times where you know she's always sitting over there on the grass or whatever and everybody else is kind of playing around and I feel bad for her because she doesn't get that interaction."

Braaten is hoping Preston wins the Pepsi Refresh Project which is granting $250,000 to the top two voted ideas in the nation. If Preston won, it would focus on making the playground handicap accessible.

A group of about ten members met with a playground designer to discuss adding ramps, providing handicap accessible swings and using rubber tiles versus the sand which wheels get stuck in. Not only would it receive all these features but newly needed equipment.

"The swings are rusting. When you go up this [pointing to slide] you get paint on your fingers and some fiberglass and it doesn't meet safety regulations for the railing," Mother Tonya Keim said.

She went on to say, "This would be huge for our community, not just for our community but for Southern Minnesota.

Preston is 27th in the running for the money.

It is entirely up to the public who wins depending on how many votes they receive.

There are several different ways people can vote that can be found at

Voting ends October 31.

Powered by Frankly