Grand Opening, More Painting

The playground grand opening was wonderful. Many people were there. The playground was fun and full. Everyone ate ice cream. We cut a ribbon. It was awesome. Thank you so much for all the help. Each day I see the joy of play on kids’ faces. I see 20151001_093933kindergarteners learning to count to 30 as they wait in line to spin. They negotiate the time and change it. I see kids figuring out how to play together on the teeter totter. Besides the physics of it, they are deciding what is safe for them, how to play with others, how to direct others, how to listen to others, and 20151001_094712they are learning that they can leave when group fun is not fun anymore. It really is amazing. The old playground is still being used and loved, especially by the kindergarteners– which is perfect. They are finding what is fun and appropriate for them. They don’t have to be in a crowded place, or they can be if they choose to be. The rocks behind the new playground is a wonderful place for kids who want to be near action, but not in it.20151017_093923

This weekend four Pathfinder parents (Anne Marie, Jami, Toni & Chris) Gretchen Dedecker (self-help project coordinator at SPS) and a group of about 9 W.S.Kiwanis volunteers, painted the playground. A big thank you to Pathfinder’s instructional assistant Stephanie Brownfield, who volunteered and who gathered the Kiwanis volunteers for this project. We couldn’t have done it without you!20151017_094000

Our tetherball poles are now ready to host some 20151017_150633games, the bases on the large kickball square are brightly visible, some of the river has been refreshed, and our new clan animals are represented on the blacktop. Go see if you can find the Rabbits and the Kingfishers. Thank you so much Ann Marie for the beautiful stencils!

Sneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peek of the playground. The fences will come down once the district has checked it over to make sure it was installed correctly, and the playground looks safe enough for the kids. Then the classrooms must bring their kids out and give them a run-down on the rules. THEN SPS will remove the safety fencing.

We’re planning on having the opening ceremony on Thursday September 24th, right after school.

Nathan parker works on the grouting for the bench below.



Slide bars, two sets of overhead bars, rope climbers, wobbly disks, and two spinners can be seen.

IMG_20150907_125153  IMG_20150903_114139 A teeter totter for 7 or more kids to be on together! (check with the playground supervisors for actual numbers…)

Playground Install a Success!

Over 100 Capital One volunteers, and more than 20 Pathfinder volunteers 5 or more neighbors, and one alumnus showed up on a very rainy day to get messy and build a playground. And boy did they!


Digging out the pad for the new bike racks.

11988227_10208013647963051_6483307206998631290_nMany, many different pieces of equipment were sorted, unwrapped, put in the right place and assembled.


Ann Marie helps secure a platform.


Chris Wells digs a post hole



Bill Reswig fills in a posthole.


Jackie uses her contractor skills to rebuild the benches.

The picnic tables were completely remade!

The mural was enlarged, thanks to the design of our middle school art teacher, Pamela Bigatel, and the painting by volunteers.11986595_10208013643242933_8394219443313003363_n

Lots of mulch was spread. Lots and lots of mulch.

Lunchroom tables were scrubbed.

Emergency water jugs were placed in each classroom. Thank you to Capital One for donating the water.


It was a lot of work, but so many hands made it a day of successes. We all went home wet, and happy with all we’d accomplished.


Jennifer and Jami help garden.

Progress Overview

Thank You Community for helping us design the playground, get grants, find business
donors, and for emptying your pockets to make this happen! The City of Seattle Playground PlanDepartment of Neighborhoods, King County, and businesses in our neighborhoods were the big donors. This would not be possible if every donation of time and money hadn’t have been there. Thank you!  We raised $250k for Phase One.

Here’s what we will see change in Phase One:

– Grass to play on! The north and south fences will be moved to include grass in the play area and increase child safety.

– Two additional play-spaces with rubber surfacing will make playing more accessible to sensory-sensitive kids, and will be fun for all.

– One large play area with full-body play equipment–including spinners!

– One small play area with a teeter totter that can hold eight kids all playing at once, for some good negotiation and group play.

The raised mound, the Esker

– A long, gentle, s-shaped climbable mound (the esker) about 2.5ft tall and covered in flat stones, winding between the two new play areas.

– One built-in bench, tiled with beautiful blues and greens, engraved with your messages.

– A scattered pile of seat-sized boulders in rough amphitheater shape.

– Two trees on the playground, and four trees right beside the fence.

– A better situated bike area near the front of the school.

We’ve bought the plans for Phase Two as well, so we can start saving and planning for a seated, tree covered area right outside the lunchroom, and a raised circular platform with whirligigs on the north end of the playground.

September 1st the playground equipment install will happen. Boxes of goodies will be sitting there, ready for us to dig, build, and paint. Time to get physical.

2014 Playground PaintingCapital One’s people and financial help gave us the boost we needed last year when we painted the playground. The addition of the colors, the clan animals, and a beautiful, much used braided river were warmly received by the children. This year Capital One is again coming out to help. This time with painting, landscaping, and building. We need our community to join in to help build the playground. It is on a weekday, and kids can’t come, so this is not easy to do for many parents. If you can make it happen, please do. We need you!  I hope that you can join us. This will surely be a day to remember!

The surfacing will be poured around the built equipment. That will happen in late September to mid-October. After that happens, the playground will be ready to enjoy!

Mid October we will also be looking for helpers to plant some trees on and near the playground.

If you have questions or suggestions, contact the Playground team at:

Thank you!

The Playground Revamp Team

Playground INSTALL Date Set, Workers Needed

September 1st Playground INSTALL Building Party is on! We need a good number of volunteers to make this happen. 
When: Tuesday, 8:00am-3:30pm on 9/1. The professional playground installers will be there to guide us, so we’ll be working on their clock.
Duties could include: installing the playground equipment, landscaping, refreshing the blacktop paint, adding to the mural, installing new bike racks.  Lunch and tools will be provided, bring your own water bottle, and maybe a good pair of work gloves.
Please RSVP to: