The old phrase is “our children are our future.”

With that in mind, Houlka’s retiring two-term mayor, incoming mayor, board of aldermen and the community deserve congratulations for investing town money in its youngsters, which are where any town’s future is.

Town officials recently bought new playground equipment to replace aging equipment. A community-wide turnout installed it.

The project was started earlier this year. The equipment was bought, at a cost of $20,000 in town funds, under retiring mayor Jimmy Kelly. It was bought at the request of incoming mayor David Huffman, who heads up a volunteer organization called TEAM (Together Everyone Accomplishes More) HOULKA.

The two mayors worked together, as did the community and aldermen, to make the project happen. The old and new board of aldermen is actually the same board, since there were no changes in the board following elections this year.

The equipment was installed one Saturday last month with the help of community volunteers.

They didn’t let a little rain stop the job.

Work started at 8 a.m., broke for lunch at noon, and finished up around 3. Lunch and desserts were provided by TEAM HOULKA members.

The one-piece metal playground unit is designed for youngsters 5-12, and has several slides, climbing stations and monkey bars.

The new unit will replace old wooden playground equipment at the park, which had become rotted and otherwise damaged after years of hard use by local youngsters. That equipment was bought with a grant many years ago.

All involved deserve congratulations for replacing the old equipment with the new unit. It’s a wonderful legacy to the community in several important ways. It gives youngsters a safe place to play. It’s also excellent aerobic exercise disguised as fun – gets the heart rate up – and can help youngsters grow up healthy. And having sturdy health is easier than regaining it, as anyone who ever had to will confirm.

Small towns are wonderful places to grow up, and raise a family. Houlka’s demonstrated care about its children – its most valuable natural resource who will be the leaders of tomorrow – are among the reasons why.

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