Eli Hart: Honorary playground set to open for community

Eli Hart (Supplied)

Volunteers from Mound and nearby communities are set to complete the construction of the Eli Hart Memorial Playground on Thursday.

The community event began around 9 a.m. and organizers say they hope to finish by 5 p.m.

The playground's purpose is to commemorate the life of Eli Hart, a 6-year-old boy who was shot and killed by his mother in 2022.

Fundraising began at Surfside Park later that year, and the GoFundMe is still collecting donations.

The boy's body was found in the trunk of a car after Orono police pulled the driver over for having a smashed window and wheel on its rim.

His mother, Julisa Thaler, was charged in his murder, convicted and sentenced to life in prison last year.

READ MORE: Eli Hart killing: Boy's dad testifies at Julissa Thaler's trial

READ MORE: Family of boy killed in Mound says state didn't do enough to protect him 'They ignored us'

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for July 20, following the parade for the Spirit of the Lake Festival.