Individual Donor Fundraising Underway!


With our playground just over 70% funded through community grants, we need your help to raise the rest – $50,000! We would love to see construction start this summer 2015, and with your support we can do it. We’ve got 4 months and change to get there.

We’re excited about our creative fundraising touch – adding engraved boulders and tiles to showcase this community support. Can you imagine adding your kids’ names to the playground in such a beautiful way? Or even, your favorite quote or motto?

Here’s a look at the beautiful glass tiles that will adorn our playground with YOUR name/quote/motto on them:

Left to right tiles: $250, $100, $50.

Left to right tiles: $250, $100, $50.

Of course, we’re accepting all donations, even if you don’t want your name on a tile. Here’s how you can give directly, fill out the form below:

Each donation goes directly to our PTSA where it will be marked for the playground, and your donor recognition details will be stored securely. From $50 to $5,000, every dollar counts – thank you!

Pathfinder Playground: Success And Progress Update

What a summer! With a design selected, we have been hard at work to raise the funds to build our playground into a space that fully serves our students and greater community.

The braided stream was painted with a few dozen volunteers!

The braided stream was painted with a few dozen volunteers!

With volunteers and funding from Capitol One, we started rebuilding the playground with a paint party! This was an amazing work party day with over 130 people that included Pathfinder parents and staff. This generous volunteer day alone crossed out the line item of $500.00 worth of playground painting supplies, and the volunteer hours match was enormous.

The paint party also included a lovely mural designed by Pathfinder's own art teacher.

Capitol One provided enough volunteers to add the Pathfinder compass logo too!

Now, just to put some perspective on our fundraising efforts: A dream playground with everything we could want is estimated to cost around $392,000.00 – after exploring options and prioritizing areas of the playground to do in phases, we are aiming for a $250,000.00 playground in phase one.

This first phase will include the large and small play structure areas, two lovely benches built into a long, winding, climbable stone hill, known in glacial terms as an esker. It will also include a boulder trail, a boulder seating area, and a boulder and wood chip area. The north and south fences will also be pushed out to include some grass in the playground during phase 1.

The paint party also included a lovely mural designed by Pathfinder's own art teacher.

The paint party also included a lovely mural designed by Pathfinder’s own art teacher.

Our fundraising goal is $250k by March 2015 so that we can begin construction of phase 1 on the playground in summer 2015.  So far, we have raised $100k from City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Large Grant; we have been recommended for $75k from a King County grant (pending approval near Thanksgiving), and raised $8,000 from the 2012 auction.

Stay tuned for how you can help us reach our goal!

Update: Grant Awarded, Playground Paint Party!

The Pathfinder Playground Revamp was awarded the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund large grant! Thanks to the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods for helping us really get the ball rolling with our new design.

August Paint Party:

August 21st the playground is getting a little facelift in preparation for our new design. With a Capital One $4,000 grant for the school, we are having a work party to do projects all over the school–and the playground is one of them. That means we can get started painting the braided stream and adding new features like a labyrinth and accurate US map.

Are you ready to help us on August 21st? We need 6-8 folks ready to help lead the volunteers for the day, help organize supplies the day before, and a few creatives to help us make stencils to add some critter prints to the playground. Interested? Email – Thank You!

Here’s a peek at the new design! The school district is still working on the feasibility of the fence changes, but we expect that to be part of phase one. If fundraising needs are met, and the bids come in as expected, the equipment and surfacing of the blue areas will also be Phase 1.

Pathfinder Final Plan Labeled

Come see and eat ice cream to celebrate!

You’re Invited:

Pathfinder K8 playground final poster new date

Created by Bill Reiswig, parent volunteer.

Our final design meeting is a celebration as we get to see the final playground design and discuss next steps to breaking ground. Plus, there will be ice cream (vegan and regular)!


The Playground Committee finished the City of Seattle Large Grant review process with an in person interview and pitch to the city review board and fellow applicants on Tuesday, June 10th. Thanks to Laura Murray and Shannon Ninburg for creating this comprehensive display and the many others who contributed photos and documents:

Next Steps:

The timeline for the playground build is to break ground in Summer 2015.

To get there, we need to raise roughly $100,000 in addition to what we’ve already sought through grants. We use the term roughly, because of the process of construction. While our playground design is finished, it’s like a set of house plans – we know where the windows and doorways will be, but we get to decide on the materials to build it.

For example, we may want a spin toy feature, but depending on which one we choose, the cost varies just like when buying windows for a house. There are numerous decisions to be made before our playground is complete, and money is going to be a key deciding factor in how we get to build it. The design plans will come with a break down for phases, so that way we can work with what we have funding to build. We need you to help us move forward, make these kinds of decisions and help raise funds!

Come celebrate our progress at the meeting: Monday, June 16th, 5:30-7pm.

Final Stage of Playground Design: Give Your Input

The May 20th meeting was a good one. There was a smaller crowd, but there were many new faces and active participants. Seeing the three designs that Johnson Southerland created out of all the ideas from the April meeting was really exciting. We don’t get to choose the actual equipment yet. We are now choosing the design in which play equipment will sit.
To answer a question asked by many: Yes, the current playground equipment will stay. The additional play equipment area(s) have three emphases:  1) Challenging climbing and upper body, 2) Rocking and spinning, 3) Nature integration
Note that (re)painting the blacktop are things we can do outside of these designs — with enough parent support. Also, the rubberized surfaces v.s. the wood chips may turn out to be a financial issue. Rubber surfacing is more expensive. It comes down to fundraising (that post is coming…).
Take a look at the below landscape footprint design concepts (or click here to open the PDF 3-page version). At the bottom of the page you can vote on your top 6 elements.
1) Glacial Features
2) Forest Integration
Forest Integration detail: “School Floor Compass w/Concrete Benches and Tree Planters” (outside the cafeteria doors)
Forest Integration Detail: “Woodchip Play & Tree Planters w/Concrete Root Benches” (along the west fence)
Pathfinder Forest Int Detail
3) Magnetic
Magnetic Detail, top view: “School View Compass and Whirligigs”
Magnetic Detail, side view: “School View Compass and Whirligigs”
“Gateway to the Wild.” Note that there are wood cut-outs and interpretive info about the greenspace attached to the fence. A gateway is created with greenery.Pathfinder_Entry
Each design had a lot more to it than the above, and we were asked to pick and choose our favorite elements among them. The parts of each that we love the most can be put into one Master Design Plan.
To get more feedback and include more people, we have set up this survey in which you can vote on the design elements. There are 18 element options. Please select your top 6 favorites. If you already voted at the meeting, please do not vote again.
All votes must be in by next Friday, the 30th. Kids can vote too. Please vote only once!
The next meeting is June 16th, 5:30-7pm!

Don’t Miss This Meeting!


On May 20th, Johnson Sutherland will present their concepts based on our feedback at the first meeting. Our input will shape the final design before it goes to the School District for final review. Everyone is welcome to attend, and snacks will be served.

photoWhen: May 20th, 5:30-7pm

Where: Pathfinder K8, Cafeteria

SAVE THE DATE: Design Reveal + Ice Cream Social!

DATE CHANGED: June 16th, 5:30-7pm

Meeting note: I have heard from many that cannot attend who want to provide input. We will be sharing the concept plans and a survey the day after the meeting, stay tuned!