Wednesday, November 14, 2007

11/13 - Girl, 10, leads fight to save Jekyll park

Date November 13, 2007
Section(s) Local News
The Brunswick News

One Jekyll Island resident who plans to voice her opinion during Wednesday's public hearings on the future of the island hopes developers remember children in their plans.

She is particularly concerned about the playground.

So are 600 others whose signatures 10-year-old Morgan Simpson has collected in hopes of influencing the fate of the playground, which is in the path of new development on the island.

The hearings, two of which will be held today on Jekyll, will focus on the proposed $441 million revitalization of Jekyll, a project that includes new hotels, condominiums, convention center and shopping complex that will be overseen by Linger Longer Communities.

"I'm doing this for all of the children who love this playground," Simpson said, visiting the playground Monday.

Simpson even made a video, "I Can Make a Difference," to inspire children to sign her petition.

She hopes her efforts will make a difference.

Simpson wants the Jekyll Island Authority and Linger Longer Communities, which are hosting the public input sessions, to make plans to move the playground.

"Probably they will think about how a little kid took up all of their time to gather these names," she said. "Hopefully they will see this means a lot to us. This is the only place on Jekyll Island where we can hang out with our friends and play."

The option of putting a playground on the hotel grounds is not good, she said. "If they put it up near the hotel it will get too crowded."

Simpson hopes to get even more signatures from school mates before attending the meeting with her parents.

"I think it would be good to move the playground out near the ocean maybe," she said. "It's just not fair for them to rip it all up and not put it back somewhere.

"This playground is always busy. I've had my birthday parties here, and a lot of other kids have too. A lot of people use this park."

The Jekyll Island Authority and Linger Longer Communities will host two public input sessions at the Jekyll Island Convention Center Wednesday, one at 3:30 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. A hearing also is planned for 9:30 a.m. at Heritage Bank in St. Marys

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