The playground project received $75,000 in this year's Capital Improvement Budget - no small feat! We will be soliciting pledges with a goal of securing $50,000 in pledges by year end 2023. If secured, we understand additional commitments from the Parks and Rec Foundation via the City may become available to see the project to fruition. Raising this sum would be a record for any neighborhood contribution towards a community playground in the City's history and should we raise this amount, they would likely be able to find the sources to cover the difference.
All contributions would be made directly to the Parks and Recreation Foundation, a 501c3 organization and would be tax deductible. No contributions should be sent prior to notification from the playground committee that we have the requisite commitments to move forward.
Based on feedback from the neighborhood, the design was amended to make the footprint smaller and some elements were adjusted to reduce the overall cost of the project. Revised renderings were provided by Parks and Rec. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $197,016.38 as of summer 2023.
In the last several years, a number of young families have moved into the neighborhood. Families travel several miles to visit other neighborhoods' playgrounds. Wouldn't it be nice just to walk down the street?
It's social infrastructure that will bring our community together, help you meet your neighbors, boost kids' social and emotional development, and it will get them outside (instead of in front of a screen).
While many improvements could be made here - tennis courts, pickleball courts, a skate park, a dog park and more - we feel like a playground is likely the best use, and least objectionable, for the space. It allows for entertainment for younger children while maintaining a long-loved practice field. It also would not require any additional permanent infrastructure like parking, lighting or bathrooms.
The park holds a special place in the memories of children who grew up in our neighborhood. In the earliest years, it was a driving range owned by the PACC. For a long time, it was an oft used place for team practice and sports.
The City is no longer issuing commercial rental permits for neighborhood parks like ours. Organized team sports like Soccer Shots are no longer permitted to practice here. The decline in use has left the field looking less than its best and not befitting of our neighborhood. It is covered in burr weeds and the fence is past its useful life. The toppled goals with torn nets make it look neglected.
Investment is needed, and now is the time. The playground will bring new life to our underdeveloped park. We can't wait to see the transformation.
As designed, the playground area is approximately 4,200 sq. ft.
A playground structure with several slides, climbing towers, monkey bars and more, six swings, benches, additional landscaping, new fencing, an ADA sidewalk and bike racks are all part of the improvements for the park.
The total playground improvements will cost about $200,000.
Additional parking, lighting, public restrooms, water fountains, a shelter with picnic tables, and turf upgrades are all things that we've received questions about, but they are not included as part of this proposal.
The placement of the playground was thoughtfully selected to maintain the existing use of the practice field for sports and open play, as well as to maintain privacy for neighboring homes as trees and plantings will help screen the playground from direct view. This location also allows for the maximum adjacent public, on street parking and the shortest distance for an ADA sidewalk to reach the playground.
Parks and Rec has already completed the design. The project has received initial funding from the City of $75,000. The committee plans to solicit pledges totaling $50,000 by year end 2023. Nine months from securing all funding is a reasonable estimate of how long it would take to order, receive and install the playground.
Parks and Rec has a program called Bench Buddies where you can contribute $1,500 for a new bench to be installed at a park of your choice. Memorial plaques and benches will be maintained for 10 years. *Parks and Rec suggests waiting until the playground is fully funded before requesting this sponsorship.
Parks and Rec has a program called Tree Buddies where you can contribute $500 for a tree to be planted at a park of your choice. Honorary plaques are available and you can choose from a variety of native trees.
Two neighborhood moms, Christen Faatz and Becca Brown approached civic league President, Debbie Lou Hague, in the spring of 2022 about a playground at the park. We weren't the first to come up with the idea, just the latest two that had asked. We teamed up to see if we could make some progress. Since, several other moms, dads and grandparents in the neighborhood have helped along the way. Now we have over 100 families joining the effort. We hope you will too.