‘Sled shed’ in Byron looks for donations

Volunteers from the Byron Forest Preserve District are building a 'Sled Shed' for a local...
Volunteers from the Byron Forest Preserve District are building a 'Sled Shed' for a local Rotary project.(WIFR)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 11:05 AM CST
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BYRON, Ill. (WIFR) - Byron Rotarians are asking for the community’s help. They’ve partnered with the Byron Forest Preserve District to build a “sled shed” at the preserve’s sledding hill.

New and lightly used sleds and saucers can be dropped off starting Wednesday, Dec. 8 at the Byron Public Library and the Dickerson Nieman-Floski Law Office Building at 220 W. Third St.

The “sled shed” is for children and families to borrow sleds and saucers for free, so that everyone can enjoy sledding season. The $2,000 project is funded by Rotary fundraisers, as well as with matching funds from a Rotary Foundation grant.

Forest Preserve volunteers are pitching in to design and construct the “sled shed.”

“The winter of 2020 was incredibly hard on everyone, especially children, and this winter might be difficult, as well,” says Rotary Sled Shed Project Chair Emily Porter.

Sledding became a popular family activity during COVID-19 mitigations when kids were home from school and parents were working from home. At the same time, supply chain issues have made sleds and saucers harder to find.

“This project will help address that issue now, as well as provide an enduring opportunity for family time, regardless of family resources.”

Rotary first became concerned about the issue when members themselves had a difficult time finding sleds for their children last winter; social media was full of requests from parents hoping to borrow or purchase sleds. The idea for the sled shed was based on a similar project carried out in Janesville, Wisconsin.

“When we approached the Forest Preserve with the idea, they immediately offered the resources of their woodworking club,” says Rotary member Betsy Floski. “It’s a great community collaboration, the kind of synergy that Rotary is always trying to create.”

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