Greener BeeGreen LivingPlayground honoring youngster gets new additions

When Colton Jones passed away in 2008, his parents, preschool and many people in the community were determined his life would be remembered in a significant way. On Thursday, the playground that bears his name and photo received two additions: very special benches.

Jason and Andrea Jones donated playground equipment made of more than 12,000 recycled plastic milk cartons, Chris Pestoff, director of Open Hands Preschool, told The Times in 2008.

Pestoff added that the way the playground was constructed went along with Coltons love of watching the big trucks haul away trash.

He dressed up as Bob the Builder for Halloween and with the playground made from recycled milk jugs, it ties in with his love of watching the trash trucks, she said.

This week, some nine years after Coltons passing, the preschool concluded a year-long project of collecting recyclable plastic lids and took 800 pounds of the material to Green Tree Plastics in Evansville. In return for the donation, two benches made of recycled plastic were discounted to a total of $450, Pestoff said. Similar benches retail for $610, according to Green Trees store on eBay.

The plastic collection was not only an effort by people associated with the preschool but by their extended families as well. The great-grandmother of one of the students collected enough plastic lids to fill a 55-gallon sack. The grandmother of another child went to her employer, Phoenix Closures, Greencastle, and collected 400 pounds of plastic lids. Each lid was required to be less than 8 inches in diameter and of a certain quality. For example, fast food drink lids did not qualify, Pestoff said.

Green Trees discount program requires educating children about recycling.

The ABC PROGRAM is a cap and lid program specifically designed by school children for school children, states the website. It is to be a tool in the hands of teachers to teach children about caring for the earth and green living. It must be put through childrens hands and someone must be responsible to see that it is a learning experience for them.

Furthermore, the bench needs to belong to the children; it is to be placed where they want it to be placed so they can show others and be proud of what they have accomplished.

The two benches have been placed in the 20-foot expanded area of the playground located on the First United Methodist Church property to give teachers and parents a place to sit while the children play.

Pestoff hopes to be able to shade the expanded playground area and put in another table so she can teach science to the children outdoors.

Andrea Jones attended the dedication ceremony for the benches on Thursday.

I think its a great idea that they expanded (the playground,) she said. Its bigger for more kids.

She said the pre-school hopes to grow in numbers of students and she thought the new benches were a good idea, too.

First United Methodist Church Pastor Rick Koch is a proponent of recycling.

He said he has been talking to the mayor of Brazil about expanding the recycling effort and he would like to form a committee to advance recycling in Brazil.

We need to use some of the things we put in our landfills and make something good out of them, he said.

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