Subject: All you want to know about the park...
Date: May 18, 2011 2:59 PM
Palmer Park is going to get a HUGE face lift on Sunday, June 5th .
The project includes:
- a 2,500 sq ft Kaboom! playground with swings
- 15 New park benches
- New Landscaping
- The cleaning and painting of the grand arch
- Painting and repair of the flag pole with new flags and hardware
- Repairing, cleaning and staining of all the wood Bollards
- Painting of all the black lamp posts
- Multiple Dog waste stations
- New Trash/recycling containers throughout the park
- Directional signage
We need volunteers!!!!
Aside from the actual build day on June 5th, there is also a Prep Day on Friday, June 3rd. On Prep Day there will be power tools involved, cutting wooden pieces to size, etc. It is an essential day for making sure everything is there, getting it sorted into packets for about 20 teams to assemble different parts of the playground and various side projects. Also in the 2 weeks left leading up to the build day there is much to be planned. If anyone feels they could be helpful in one of the following areas, we can connect them with that committee's chair:
- Food (attaining food, water, utensil donations for breakfast and lunch on build and prep days)
- Recruitment/Registration (what this email is all about)
- Construction (obtain tools, head up a build day crew, building permits)
- Logistics (secure port-a-potties, water source, trash/recycling, tables, tents, parking, electrical, etc.)
- Youth Involvement (get kids involved in lead-up time as well as build day activities, obtain necessary materials)
- Safety & Maintenance (first aid, safety training & equipment, develop maintenance plan)
- PR/Web Outreach (Recruit music, photographer, PA system, VIPs; Develop PR release, opening/closing ceremonies, Kaboom! website)
- Green (recycling, compost of food, leftovers donations)
AND of course anything else you can think of is a welcome addition to this major group effort.
Please let us know the extent to which you would like to get involved. No effort is too small.
The email email@example.com is the best way to reach the project captains.
In addition to the above information please read below info from Erin Ribka (Project lead) explaining the placement of the play-set in case of any concern...
Regarding the placement of the play-set, the only public input was on the design of the playset itself. Early in the process, Anne and I spoke with Ann Macdonald (Director) and Hailey Bowen (Chief Landscape Architect) of Parks and Parkways regarding the placement of the playground and other potential "side projects". It may seem harsh, but there was no public input into siting the playset. The placement was at the discretion of Parks and Parkways. Two years ago, when the park was first being considered for one of the Allstate playground grants, the placement of the playground was a potential deal killer; the Allstate folks insisted, for safety reasons, that a new playset needed to be placed on the Sycamore side of the park, in the location where the new slab has been placed. It is my understanding that Parkways was convinced of the wisdom of this plan and when the KaBOOM! project presented itself, the decision was to maintain that site plan. The old equipment has been removed and Parkways is working to get the old concrete slabs removed as well. Those areas will then receive some fill and hydroseed to maintain large green spaces in place of the old playsets.
As you know, the timeline on this project has been significantly compressed. I found out about the opportunity at the end of January, the application was submitted March 18 and we were awarded a June 5 build on Thursday, April 14. In the 2-3 weeks immediately preceeding the award, we worked to establish a planning committee of approximately 20 people, at least half of them parents, to help with the bulk of the planning process. We reached out through neighborhood e-mail blasts and personal connections to drum up interest and support. Once we were awarded the project, we had less than 4 days to pull together a Design Day meeting of 20-30 adults and approximately 20-30 children, held at the KIPP: Believe school on Monday, April 18. Design Day is the kickoff to every KaBOOM! project and the first (and in our case, only) major public meeting. Again, we reached out through e-mail to acheive the necessary numbers of adults and children for that meeting. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the people who participated in Design Day were those who had already self identified as interested in the process and committed to participating in the planning committee. At that meeting there was an overview of KaBOOM! and how builds happen (in one day!); kids drew pictures of and talked about their dream playgrounds and what they wanted in them; adults then got together to discuss all the different moving parts and committees necessary to make this project successful and at the end, we poured over dozens of pictures of playground equipment and came up with a list of things we "had to have", "did not want to have" and "liked". These ideas were compiled by the KaBOOM! project manager and submitted to Playworld Systems, the manufacturer of the equipment. Their playground designers fashioned 3 different playgrounds for us to choose from. Those 3 designs were then sent to everyone who had been present at the Design Day as well as e-mail blasted again to the surrounding neighborhood organizations. We also asked for recipients to share the designs with neighbors and friends and solicit input. We had 48 hours to choose; voting was done by e-mail and the results were tallied. There was (thankfully) a single, clear winner.
It has been my intention throughout this process to involve as many people as possible and to achieve a fair representation of the neighborhood. I know that we have not been as successful in that regard as I might have hoped. While I know also that we will never make 100% of folks happy 100% of the time, I am confident that we have done what we could in the time available to engage as many people as want to be involved in the process.
I know this is wordy - sorry! Just trying to be thorough....