Community Comes Together to Re-Invent Park at Heritage Port


 For the past five days, hundreds of volunteers have dedicated their time to help the Junior League of Wheeling to give the playground at Heritage Port a makeover, so kids can continue to enjoy using it. 

Castles, a rock wall, and a boat that moves are all part of the improvements at the Janie S. Altmeyer Playground. 

“People who were here 16 years ago for the original build they said it was the best thing they ever took part in, they had a great time and they came back to do it again,” said Melissa Knollinger, co-chair of the playground committee.

One of the volunteers in both 2000 and 2016 is Gary Weisner. He said he is proud to help create something with such a big community impact.

“When we originally built it for instance Madison school, they don’t really have a big play area so they’d actually bus them over here. The kids used the playground at least once a week,” Weisner said. 

The park is just another part of the big makeover going on in downtown Wheeling.

“Overall revitalizing downtown and having something for families to do on the weekends, and make it a place for people to come, not just for festivals but anytime,” said Knollinger.

Local kids can’t wait to start playing.

“You cant beat it, if it’s for the children and they grow up and they learn from our example of volunteering which is a wonderful thing, and then they continue on,” said Weisner.

In the next phase of the project, the Junior League will put down a rubberized surface to make the playground more accessible. 

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