Community members including residents, volunteers from local churches, and union members, gathered recently to build a new playground at Franklin Park.

Members from different unions, all part of the Lehigh Valley Construction and Building Trades Council, lent their expertise to assemble the new equipment, which cost $70,000, and was funded by the Trexler Trust Fund.

Members from Christ Lutheran Church and Congregations United for Neighborhood Action pitched in as well to build the new play structures early on Saturday morning, August 25th, providing the park with some desperately needed new equipment.

“By 7:30, pieces already were coming together,” said the Rev. Maritza Torres Dolich, outreach pastor of St. Stephen Outreach Center of Christ Lutheran Church, which is located next to the Playground.  “This is great for the neighborhood.  The kids can’t wait until it’s finished so they can play.”

“These guys work so fast, they were almost done by the time I got here,” said Mayor Pawlowski.  “This park really needed an upgrade, and this provides the neighborhood kids with a new, clean and safe place to play, and I can’t thank the Building Trades and community members enough for their effort.”

“Some of these guys are not even from around here,” said City Councilman Joe Davis, also a member of Bricklayers Local #5.  “It doesn’t matter where the project is, we gather together to help out the community, whether it’s our own or not.”

The construction was nearly completed by noon, with only concrete left to be poured.  “This is what we do,” said Anthony Gallagher of Steamfitters local #420.  “Community service is a large part of labor unions.  We live in the communities, so we’re here to serve them.  We’re proud of our quality work and we want to share it with our neighbors.  That’s pretty much what labor unions are all about:  community,”