Ever since they were formed back in 2014, the Clarkfield Prairie Cardinals have been hard at work strengthening the Clarkfield area. The group is primarily known for organizing a number of public events and social forums, such as the annual Clarkfield Prairie Cardinals Days, the Easter Egg Hunt, and the Community Block Party. In addition to these events, the group also organizes and fundraises for special projects aimed at improving the community.

The most recent accomplishment for the group was the installation of a brand new playground over the weekend at Valhalla Park. This was an early project idea that consistently elicited strong local support. The Prairie Cardinals discussed the idea for several years, but it took time to raise the necessary funds to make it a reality.

According to Prairie Cardinals member Troy Bruflat, the group organized several fundraisers in town to raise the money. They also received support from the Clarkfield Community Foundation (which donated $1,500 for the project), in addition to several other local groups. Bruflat said that it took roughly a full year to finally get the project off the ground.

Prior to assembly, local contractor Ron Schlenner volunteered to dig the post holes. Beginning in the early hours of Saturday, September 8, approximately 25 volunteers and their families got to work assembling the equipment. They made quick work, and had installed most of the equipment several hours ahead of schedule. Once the playground was set-up, the posts were secured with concrete trucked in from Marshall.

While the adults focused on putting together metal joints, pouring concrete, and spreading the mulch, kids busied themselves with playing, laughing, and running around the site. Other Clarkfield residents walked to the park to watch the assembly, underscoring the positive community energy that made everything possible.

The new playground features a slide, several elevated platforms, monkey-bars, and a bridge. It was manufactured by Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground based out of Minneapolis.

For more information about Clarkfield Prairie Cardinals, or to learn how to get involved, go to their website at http://clarkfieldprairiecardinals.com/, or visit them on Facebook.