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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to bring:
- Work gloves
- Work clothes
- Hats, sunscreen
- No tools required
Steamboat Springs 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."
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