Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: October 16, 2013
Contact:

Billie Schmidt, Superintendent of Park Operations
Kitsap County Parks Department
360.337.5371 or bschmidt@co.kitsap.wa.us

No: 2013-097

Kitsap Kids Playground revitalized
A community project restores a popular play space at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds

(Port Orchard, WA) - The Kitsap County community has pitched in to save and revitalize the Kitsap Kids Playground. This playground had been vandalized nearly to the point of closing it down when Billie Schmidt, Superintendent of Operations started in May of 2011. “I was so dismayed when I saw the condition of the playground, and several people told me I might have to close it down completely due to the safety hazards that were created by constant vandalism. Park staff couldn’t keep up with the vandalism.” But with the help of Silverdale Rotary, one of the lead builders of the beloved 16,000 SF castle structure, The LDS Church volunteers, The Home Depot, and an incredible volunteer, David Grant, this playground has recovered in safety, functionality and appearance.

The Parks Department took care of the safety hazards immediately, adding several inches of engineered fiber for fall safety, replacing a broken bridge, shaving off protruding nails and screws, removing graffiti, and replacing sections of fencing. Three annual work parties were held to paint and revitalize the charm of the structure. This year, the Silverdale Rotary donated $4,900 of equipment, and The Home Depot in Silverdale donated 44 bags of concrete to help install the equipment which replaced broken or missing pieces of equipment.

“Hundreds of kids use this playground each day, even when I have a section closed that I’m working on, or when we have a work party,” said David Grant, lead volunteer. Mr. Grant works on the playground several days a week and has clocked 332 hours of 440 hours put in by volunteers on this playground in 2013. “Thanks to David we were able to save some of the equipment pieces we thought we were going to have to replace. He is an amazing, skilled, and treasured volunteer,” said Schmidt, “The Silverdale Rotary has been tremendously generous in volunteer labor and donation of equipment. They have been at two of the three work parties, helping to paint and sand off graffiti. The LDS Church has provided 20-30 volunteers each year to help paint, weed, clean, and remove graffiti. The Home Depot was a huge help in providing the concrete. Our budget was depleted and I thought we might have to wait to install the equipment until next year if we had to buy the concrete. We really could not have done what we have with this playground without all of the support from these very generous community members, organization, and business.”

“This is a great example of what the Kitsap community can do when they come together.” noted Commissioner Josh Brown. “It’s heartwarming to see volunteers and donors come forward to fill a need. This is a treasured playground for so many families in the community.”

But there is far more to be done to bring the playground back to its original glory. Ms. Schmidt says she is seeking additional funding to continue safety and functionality repairs to the structure. Rotting and missing fence posts need to be replaced, much of the hardware is worn through, rusting, or missing and needs to be replaced, and there are several equipment pieces that need to be replaced. She said with the help of volunteers and donations by committed community organizations like the Silverdale Rotary, and community minded businesses like the Silverdale Home Depot, the structure will continue to improve. “Slowly but surely, we are bringing it back to its original beauty and FUNnctionality,” said Schmidt.

The Kitsap Kids Playground is located on the Kitsap County Fairgrounds on Stampede Boulevard, and was built in 2002 by community volunteers. For more information about how you can help revitalize the Kitsap Kids Playground, contact Billie Schmidt, Superintendent of Operations at 360.337.5371 or bschmidt@co.kitsap.wa.us.

To see pictures of the revitalized playground go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitsapcounty/sets/72157636622613706/

For information about volunteering or parks stewardship programs, contact Lori Raymaker at 360.337.5372 or lraymaker@co.kitsap.wa.us.

For Kitsap County Parks Department information, visit http://www.kitsapgov.com/parks.

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Kitsap 1
(360) 337-5777
kitsap1@co.kitsap.wa.us

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014