The hardest winter in 14 years delayed the plans of our colleagues from Industrial Chemicals in Mariager, Denmark to help the children of the nearby villages by creating a new playground. But the delay of 5-6 months did not discourage the small team of enthusiastic employees and two plant managers to realize their idea in the spring.
When the Mariager Site Management heard that the municipality of Mariager Fjord could not build new playgrounds for a long time because of a significant deficit, they contacted the authorities and together found a solution. Support from the Community Program was requested and granted and the plan was to finance as well as build a playground, and upon completion, transfer its ownership and maintenance to the municipality.
Planning activities, including getting the necessary permits, as well as purchasing were started in October. The actual digging was foreseen for November, but although the winter of 2009/2010 became a very good season for the Salt plant, it also totally disturbed the planning for the whole playground project.
It took until late April when the soil was warm enough to start digging. After the official kick-off by the site manager and a representative of the municipality, a team set off with the task to prepare the ground and another team started the task of constructing all play equipment to be installed. To the surprise of many it was not easy at all to construct the equipment. There was a huge pile of manuals, laws and regulations to comply to and the sheer size of some of the installations caused transport and installation challenges.
The playground is situated close to the center of Assens, directly opposite the festivity hall and within a few hundred meters from the public school. The majority of employees living in Assens helped in one way or other, and staff living elsewhere participated by providing food & drinks, documentation, etc. Several contractors and suppliers donated equipment and materials as well.
Mid June the last ground jobs were concluded, but it was not until the end of the month that the patience of the children was rewarded with a grand opening by the major of the municipality and the Site Manager. Both expressed their appreciation for the high degree of solidarity between the local authorities and AkzoNobel. Without our colleagues in Mariager the kids in Assens would have had to wait much longer for this facility. Their reaction clearly underlined their joy about this initiative: despite the availability of many drinks, hotdogs and a small show from an entertainer, they only had eyes for the new playground!