The Steamboat Springs Rotary Club is seeking volunteers to build two state-of-the-art playground structures at Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools.  Volunteers are needed for a five-day period, from Thursday to July 28.

Photo by Matt Stensland

The Steamboat Springs Rotary Club is seeking volunteers to build two state-of-the-art playground structures at Soda Creek and Strawberry Park elementary schools. Volunteers are needed for a five-day period, from Thursday to July 28.

Volunteers needed to build playgrounds


To help

Volunteer workers, skilled or unskilled, are needed July 24 to 28 at Strawberry Park and Soda Creek elementary schools to help install new, universal playgrounds designed to be accessible to children of all abilities.

Contact: Angela Catterson, Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs Playground Committee co-chairwoman, at angelacatterson@c...

What to bring:

- Work gloves

- Work clothes

- Hats, sunscreen

- Water

- No tools required

— In 1985, more than 1,000 volunteers worked together to construct 50,000 board feet of playground equipment at Strawberry Park and Soda Creek elementary schools.

Twenty-three years later, the community is asked to gather again, from Thursday through July 28, to build a new, universal playground at each school.

This time around, the projects involve zero board feet, instead using pipes, posts and plastic. Let's All Play and the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs are requesting 1,000 volunteers during the five-day period to unload and assemble enough playground equipment to fill four semis.

Although nobody will be turned away from helping whenever they are available, organizers are requesting that all volunteers sign up for a specific time slot so they can be placed where they are needed.

When they sign up, volunteers can choose their work site and a shift from 8 a.m. to noon or 1 to 5 p.m.

The Steamboat Springs City Council voted this week to allow interested city employees take four hours of paid time off to volunteer for the project.

Each building site will have 50 workers per shift, with two shifts per day. So far, about 20 percent of the positions are claimed, according to Let's All Play co-chair Julie Taulman. The Steamboat Springs School Board recognized Taulman and Shelly St. Pierre last month for their efforts organizing construction and fundraising for the playgrounds.

"We would like some skilled volunteers to be coordinators, but honestly if someone can take direction and they are good workers, they are welcome," Taulman said. "If they can build something in their own house, they can do this."

Volunteers with experience in construction can also sign up to be build captains. They are asked to work at least four of the days and go through a short training on Wednesday evening.

Thursday's work will entail unloading equipment, while July 28 is planned for finishing touches on the playground and cleanup. The playgrounds will not be open to the public until the recycled rubber ground covering is installed, probably in October.

The barrier-free playgrounds, designed to be accessible to children of all abilities, also will include snowmelt systems to make the equipment usable year-round.

Several paid workers from the playground equipment company will be on site to guide the construction, Taulman said.

Volunteers ages 16 or older are urged to sign up for shifts before Wednesday. Local restaurants including Rex's American Grill & Bar, Creekside Cafe, Cugino's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, The Drunken Onion and Backcountry Provisions will provide lunches each day.

Rotary Playground Committee co-chairman Ben Northcutt still can recall the feeling of community spirit during the first playground build. He hopes to replicate that spirit and success again this year.

"I was very impressed that all these people came out to donate their time to build something. That's what we're hoping for again," he said. "We're just looking for a good show of people who want to help the kids."

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail


constant1 8 years, 9 months ago

hey all you cool cats, ya wanna go play on the swings? groovy, man. thats crazy man! yeah


beany 8 years, 9 months ago

The school district has "volunteers", too. Except these people were "vounteered" to work on their days off at overtime pay. It's great that this project is taking place, but, it's putting a huge burden on the school district. Some employees have put all of their job duties on hold to work on this project, to the detriment of anything else that they need to do. Why wasn't a private contractor hired to head up this project? I've heard a description of what has to happen to make this project work and it will be tough to make it all happen without a hitch. I don't want to see the school district take the heat if this project doesn't go smoothly or doesn't get completed on time, especially since this newspaper seems to only likes to report negatively about the school district. I don't think that the school district should have had this burden to deal with.


addlip2U 8 years, 9 months ago

"The Steamboat Springs City Council voted this week to allow interested city employees take four hours of paid time off to volunteer for the project."

That is NOT VOLUNTEERING that is being paid by the City to work on a community project!



grannyrett 8 years, 9 months ago

Who cares? Quit nit picking and let's all go help put this thing together. Call it community pride or whatever, this is one of those "get er done" things, and is something we can look at with pride when it's all done. Plus, we get a free lunch out of it!


justathought 8 years, 9 months ago

To those of you being PAID to VOLUNTEER and those of you using TAX money to PAY them: THANK YOU for your community spirit.


cmducks 8 years, 9 months ago


"the city being paid to work on a community project"

Huh:::that is a revolutionary thought...........isn't that how it is supposed to happen city workers working to better a community?

I benefited from the playground in 85, loved it, and will donate time for this one. Everyone gripes about cutting costs, but then gripe about volunteering, they would rather pay high taxes than donate time, not me.


another_local 8 years, 9 months ago

I will be there to work. It should be a lot of fun.


SilverSpoon 8 years, 9 months ago

900k for a playground, and no budget for labor? The school always wants something for nothing, remember the free land they wanted from steamboat 700? Snowmelt for a playground? That move effectively washes out any "green" effort by kids who ride their bikes to school, recycle, or use solar panels.


Hammurabi 8 years, 9 months ago

In order to save money, the playground group decided that building it with community help would allow the playground to become a reality. According to the Steamboat Pilot/Today, the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club adopted this project and is coordinating the volunteer sign up.

It seems that many posters must find something negative about a community effort that will allow all children, able bodied or not, to have a safe year-round accessible place to play. Have any of you wondered what it might be like to attempt to play on a snow packed rutted play area if you had any sort of disability? In this day and age of concern about children's lack of activity, I would think that this project would be something that all of us would gladly embrace and contribute to.

Building the old playground was a wonderful community event and those who participated have fond memories of their participation. Today's community members now have the opportunity to build their own memories along with a playground that will last for the next generation. It's time to put our community spirit on display!


outsiderlookingin 8 years, 9 months ago

1,000 volunteers needed ===at 5 days for 8 hrs.per is 40.000 hrs unless of course I learned math in the SS School District. I'm glade this free labor isn't on my payroll!!! I think you could get quite the skyscraper with that amount of labor. During WWII the Broolyn Navy yard would pump out a Destroyer a week with less than 40,000 man hours. A Destroyer is slightly more complex than a simple playground structure.


vanguy 8 years, 9 months ago

5 days x 2 shifts per day x 2 playgrounds x 50 people per shift = 1000 people must've been an outsider lookin in on math class when you were a kid. Thank god you aren't actually building any equipment for our military.

The snowmelt system is so our kids can play outside during more than half of the school year, when the playground would otherwise be buried in 400+ inches of snow. (and when tax dollars would be spent shoveling it...)

And most of funds for these playgrounds were from private donations, so stop crying the "tax dollars at work" b.s.

Thank you to those who help with the projects. Our kids and their parents appreciate your efforts.


outsiderlookingin 8 years, 9 months ago

okay Vanguy I had one to many zero's 50 workers per site 2 sites equals 100 workers per hour times the 40 hours and you get 4,000 ( Four thousand man hours). Still and awful lot of time to put some nuts and bolts together and still not have a usable playground since the safety mat won't go down till october.


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