Clean up begins at Lighthouse Park

MANISTEE — Employees of the City of Manistee Department of Public Works began Tuesday to remove contaminated woodchips from the Lighthouse Park structure.

The playground, built in 1995 near First Street Beach, was closed in August by the city due to reports of wooden playground structures in Northern Michigan similar to those in the park being contaminated during the manufacturing process.

The wood chips underneath the structure and soil beneath it showed very high concentrations of Chromium Copper Arsenate (CCA), a preservative commonly used to treat wood until 2001, according to Jeff Mikula, DPW director, during the Oct. 20 Manistee City Council meeting.

A group, Friends of Lighthouse Park, are coordinating volunteers who began work Tuesday to stain the structure. Volunteer work started at 5 p.m., weather permitting, and will continue at the same time each day this week until sealing is completed.

The staining, using a sealant, protects the wood against moisture and sun damage and seals in the CCA.

Volunteers can come at any time after 5 p.m. and work as long as their schedule allows. Volunteers are asked to wear clothes appropriate for painting.

All materials and water will be provided at the site.

After the sealing is completed, the wood chips will be scheduled for delivery and further volunteer work days will be scheduled.

Mikula said Tuesday that the staining will be done about every two or three years, and testing on the woodchips is anticipated every two years with replacement as necessary.

The park is being planned to reopen by July 4.


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