For years, Kessler Park on Seymour’s southeast side hasn’t received the attention that has gone into improving other city parks.

But people who live near or pass Kessler frequently may have noticed a big change recently.

Thanks to the proceeds from the annual downtown Seymour Cars and Guitars show, the city has purchased $25,000 in new playground equipment for the park.

A two-man crew working with manufacturer GameTime out of Indianapolis installed the equipment during a three-day period this past week. The two work for G&C Contracting, an Indianapolis playground equipment installation firm.

Parks director Bob Tabeling said Kessler was next in line since Shields and Gaiser parks already have benefited from Cars and Guitars money.

Kessler also was chosen because of its location to a lot of apartment complexes and Margaret R. Brown Elementary School, he added. Kasting Park on the city’s southwest side was considered, too.

“With the age group it was set up for, it will be utilized better there,” Tabeling said of Kessler. “That was part of the conversation.”

Kessler already has two play areas, with a swing set and slide, but that equipment dates back to 1992.

“Over the years, it’s been more about maintaining and upkeep than upgrades,” Tabeling said.

The most recent major improvement made at Kessler has been replacing the shelter roof, he said.

Although the new playground equipment, which includes slides, a tunnel and climbing features, is in place, Tabeling said the project is not complete, as the city still needs to spread mulch and add timber landscaping and a sidewalk.

“We’re still working on that as weather permits, but we hope to have it all done before spring,” he said.

The equipment is designed and built with features to be accessible to children with physical and mental challenges. That was the original goal of the Cars and Guitars committee — to equip all of Seymour’s public parks with playgrounds that all children can use.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at or 812-523-7069.