Ormewood Community Playground volunteers are raising money to revitalize the field behind Ormewood Park Presbyterian Church at 1071 Delaware Avenue SE, transforming it into a new playground. The project’s budget is set at $100,000 to cover new playground equipment, surfacing and landscaping improvements. The playground incorporates universal design, creating opportunity for children of differing ages and abilities to play together. Organizers have engaged playground equipment manufacturer Landscape Solutions, Inc. and their local representatives at Architectural Design Specialties. The project is slated for completion in April of 2014.
The group’s goal is to create an outdoor space where neighborhood children can enjoy unstructured play while families meet and mingle at the same time. The Ormewood School will also use the playground as an outdoor classroom space for learning and creating art. The current playground, used regularly by the school and neighborhood families alike, has no permanent play structures and is not suitable for play after periods of rain due to its elevation and drainage. The school and church communities feel that new equipment and an overhaul of the grounds will foster a more pleasing play experience, leading to stronger community relationships.
“There have been amazing efforts to build a dream playground for kids in the Ormewood Community,” says project leader Lia Santos. “Time is ticking, so we are now focusing our efforts on fundraising.”
The Ormewood Community Playground secured a $15,000 grant from Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and national non-profit KaBOOM! earlier this year. Volunteers are actively pursuing additional grants, and several fundraising campaigns are underway. Proceeds from events such as the upcoming neighborhood BBQ and popular Parents Night Out evenings directly benefit the playground. Future events include an online silent auction, yard sale, and local dine-out occasions. The group maintains an active Facebook page to promote events and garner support.
One noteworthy campaign item is the playground’s tile mosaic installation – a prominent design feature created by The Ormewood School’s Pia Orellana – to be mounted outdoors facing the playground entrance. Donors may purchase a tile, inscribed with a personal message or business name, as a donation that will be visible to the community for years to come. Tile purchases with text or image inscriptions begin at the $100.00 level. Larger tiles are also available at $300 and $500 levels.
“The tile mosaic design is really impressive,” says Johnny Helms, a neighborhood parent. “I like that this part of the playground represents individual contributions coming together to make something great in our community.”Neighbors can learn more about supporting the playground initiative as donors or volunteers by emailing Cindy Cahalen at email@example.com. More information on project progress, fundraising events and the tile mosaic is at http://www.facebook.com/OrmewoodCommunityPlayground.