They are as much a part of growing up as baseball and apple pie. So when thieves torched some playgrounds in Laurel, the community was devastated.
But now three weeks later, something good is emerging from the ashes.
Laurel Mayor Craig Moe says Discovery Community Park will be rebuilt, bigger and better than ever before.
"This is one of the most heavily used parks in Laurel," Moe says. "We want the community to know we're committed to getting the playground equipment restored and the park back to what it used to be."
Neighbors were invited to a community fun day in Discovery Community Park Thursday to let them know it's still open and about to get even better.
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Lhotsky says the $154,000 worth of damage was covered by insurance.
"This park was built in 2008," Lhotsky says. "It's being rebuilt with the 2013 version of the same equipment."
Lhotsky say the equipment should be shipping out soon, and with a little luck, Discovery Community Park will be fully restored by May 1.
A $5,000 reward is available to help police catch the arsonist who torched the park on March 5 and Emancipation Park on March 11.
"Our eyes and ears are wide open now," says neighbor Jeffrey Mills. "We love this park and don't want something like this to happen again."
And kids of all ages say they can't wait to have their playground back.
"They make you feel young," says Jatia Mills.
If you have information about the arson fires, the number to call is 301-77ARSON, 301-772-7760. You can also email 77Arson@co.pg.ed.us. The calls are confidential and you can remain anonymous.
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