AP NEWS

Army of volunteers to build play structure in Pasadena

September 30, 2018

In a single morning on Oct. 6, community playground equipment will be constructed at Memorial Park in Pasadena by about 300 volunteers.

“This has been over a year in the making,” said Tammy De Los Santos, a grant writer with the Pasadena Parks and Recreation department, in describing a partnership with Travelers Insurance Co. and Kaboom! to erect a kid-designed playground valued at $85,000.

Kaboom! previously partnered on playground projects at Gardens and Richey elementary schools in Pasadena, but the Memorial Park playground is the national nonprofit group’s first partnership with the city.

“The Kaboom! concept epitomizes what Pasadena is all about: a hard-working community, coming together to create something amazing for future generations to enjoy,” Mayor Jeff Wagner said.

The city wasn’t required to match the money donated for the project, said De Los Santos, “but we will have an in-kind donation (food, water, kids zone, employee time, volunteer hours) when all is completed.”

On Aug. 15, about 30 kids from the community surrounding Memorial Park and at four city summer recreation centers for “Design Day,” in which they created drawings of their concepts for the ideal playground.

Planners used those drawings to design a playground structure that “will have a 2,500-square-foot footprint and will provide more than 5,400 kids in Pasadena with a safe place to play,” De Los Santos.

“We will build rain or shine,” she said, explaining that the equipment will arrive “in pieces with nuts and bolts,” with instructions for assembling.

The city has been recruiting volunteer assemblers for four months, including students from Pasadena and South Houston high schools, Career & Technical High and Bondy Intermediate School.

“We can use more volunteers, the more the merrier,” said De Los Santos.

To apply, contact her at 713-475-4819.

The new equipment will replace a “battleship” play structure that was submerged in about 5 feet of water for days following Hurricane Harvey, De Los Santos said. The damaged structure was removed to make way for the new equipment.

Following the final phase of construction, which will begin at 1 p.m., the mayor and District A City Councilman Felipe Villarreal plan to cut the ribbon in an opening ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

“On behalf of myself and the City of Pasadena, we greatly appreciate the new playground for the citizens of District A,” Villarreal said.

The Memorial Park playground is part of a broader effort led by Travelers and Kaboom! to provide play areas for children and families. It will be the seventh build by Travelers.

For more information, visit www.kaboom.org, twitter.com/kaboom and facebook.com/kaboom.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be reached at donmaines@att.net

AP RADIO
Update hourly