Playground toys to be installed in Jensen Park
August 27, 2008 · Updated 3:53 PM
ARLINGTON Three community service groups will provide teams of workers to install playground equipment at Jensen Park Saturday, Aug. 11.
Nonmembers are invited to join the party starting 10 a.m. at 7801 Jensen Park Lane, east of Olympic Avenue between 204th Street and downtown Arlington.
Leadership from the Arlington Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club of Arlington and the Arlington Lions Club has held several meetings to plan the work party and lunch. Each of the three groups will bring more than 10 people to work all day Saturday and a small follow-up team will complete the finishing details after the concrete is set.
Each group has designated a team leader with an assistant to provide guidance and keep all the volunteers on task.
I hope to get my hands on some instructions before the work party starts, said the Lions Club team leader, Herb Hower, who is filling in for Lions president Warren Hopkins who will be gone to his sons graduation from officer training school.
It would be nice to have an idea of how it all comes together. I think there will be a representative from the company there to guide us, said Hower, who holds no office with Lions Club because he winters in Yuma, while taking care of his in-laws in Wyoming as well. A former administrator for Arlington School District, Hower was principal of Post Middle School for 20 years and at the high school for another three years.
The Lions Club is very excited about this project, Hower said he will be assisted by Don Wright as team leaders for his group.
Its always exciting to do projects for the betterment of the community, Hower added.
Yes, the city is paying to bring in the company foreman to guide the project, said Sarah Hegge, the citys staff liaison to the volunteer Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission.
PARC has been requesting playground equipment for Jensen Park every year since the park opened more than seven years ago, said Hegge. Jensen Park was PARCs preferred location for the citys skate park, but nearby residents opposed it.
Now, the playground equipment has been purchased using $40,000 of interest monies from the citys park mitigation funds, Hegge said.
We shopped around and found the most parts for the best price from Northwest Playground Equipment Inc., Hegge said. We worked with their salesman to get as many different play stations as possible.
The Northwest-based company is located in Issaquah and the equipment was delivered in many pieces. The playground equipment features four major parts with many smaller components. The biggest section for ages 5 to 12, or school-age children, includes U-Bounce toys, a Flip Flop toy something like a teeter-totter, Bounce Buttons for balance and a climbing structure with a Critter Crossing and overhead ladder, a Slither Slide, a sliding pole, a lightning slide, a cat walk, and a transfer station for wheel chair accessibility, Hegge said.
Another separate piece designed for preschool-aged children includes a Twist and Shout slide, a funnel crawl tube, and a tower with a roof. There is a speaker tube, bell panel and a bug panel. The separate swing set includes a swing seat for babies as well as belt swings for all ages.
Team leaders are scheduled to arrive at the park at 9 a.m. to plan a strategy with the company foreman and all the worker bees are scheduled to arrive at 10 a.m.
Prep work has been completed by the citys street division of public works. They excavated the area and installed curbs and structural posts, Hegge said.
The city is also supplying wheel-chair accessible wood chips that will be filled in around the equipment after the concrete is poured and set.
The president of the Kiwanis Club, Dennis Byrnes, has recruited Terry Marsh as his co-team leader and fellow Kiwanis member Virginia Hatch will supervise lunch for all the workers.
If we can get this rolling it will be good for the community, Byrnes said.
Hatch, who is also chairperson of PARC, is very happy that the service clubs are coming together on this project.
I love the joint effort of the three groups, Hatch said. It bodes well for our future. That park has been sitting empty too long, she said.
Representing the Rotary Club of Arlington, John Meno is past president of the club, as of the week before the Fourth of July.
I started meeting with the other clubs when I was president, so I wanted to follow through to completion, Meno said. We started talking about this last winter at the Rotarys Christmas party, said Meno, who will be assisted by Bill Kmet, Rotarys community service director.
Denny, Warren and I met first at The Local Scoop to discuss strategy, he said. Someone pointed out that the three service clubs havent done a project together in 25 years, so I guess its time. We are all very excited about this. We are looking forward to getting our hands dirty, Meno said, adding that more than 15 Rotarians have agreed to help. He hopes everyone brings their families.
Were gonna have our very own barn raising, straight out of the Harrison Ford movie, Witness, he laughed.
Meno said that he believes this will be a great opportunity for parents to set a good example for their children.
I am going to bring my girls to help so they can bring their kids to show what they helped build as kids. If we teach our kids to give community service, they will grow up thinking its the right thing to do, Meno said.
Volunteers are requested to bring their own shovels, gloves and ratchets.
Hegge said that the final completion of the project depends on how it all comes together.
The concrete will have to set 72 hours before the playground is ready for use, Hegge said. If all goes as planned is could be ready for use by Wednesday, Aug. 15.