Playground gets closer to reality

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 4, 2002

The creation of a world of fun and excitement for children ofall ages is just around the corner.

Kids’ Kingdom organizers are putting the finishing touches ontheir plans for the 10-acre area that will contain a magnificentcommunity playground and park.

Barry Segal, the project consultant from Leathers andAssociates, met with committee members most of Saturday to helpthem with preparation for the park construction, scheduled forApril 3-7.

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“I’m really excited to be here. From the get-go I began to meetsome really wonderful people who were excited about it, too, so Ifeel confident,” he told a group of committee members gathered atDon and Sally Doty’s house.

Throughout the day, he met individually with committee chairmen,winding the day up with the group meeting.

In order to give committee members a better understanding of theeffort, Segal showed slides of other similar playgrounds builtacross the country.

“When you enter these playgrounds, you are somewhere else.You’re in a play world,” Segal said. “That’s what separates themfrom an ordinary playground.”

Segal continued to explain how every inch of the playgroundhelps create the playground’s environment.

The entrance way with a 50-60 feet wall in the form of a castleinitiates the first impression, followed by a maze of activitiesinside, including a tree house, dragon slide, obstacle course, sandbox and even benches for parents to sit on while they watch theirchildren.

While the main area will be more attractive to older children, aseparate area will be constructed to allow plenty of space forchildren from 2-5 years old.

“The little kids get to play by themselves so they can have fun,because if you have a 12-year-old and a five-year-old (in onearea), then guess who’s going to get their way,” Segal pointedout.

The fenced-in park will also have a few speciality items, suchas “telephones” in different areas where children can work on theircommunication skills with the help of long under ground pipes.

A jungle area, complete with mist being sprayed from it duringthe summer months, will help the children keep cool while havingfun.

The Kids’ Kingdom dream can only come true, though, with thehelp of the entire community.

“Not only does this not happen without people, it doesn’t happenwithout money either,” Segal commented.

Over 1,000 people, skilled and unskilled, will be needed toconstruct the park during the five-day period.

Segal explained to committee members how fun the constructionevent could be and how important it was to the community.

“People who don’t show up for this are the people who miss outon the experience of a generation,” Segal remarked. “It’s going tobe a lot of fun.”

He said committee members will be amazed at the diversity of thepeople who come to work on the project.

“You may have three, or sometimes four, generations out on thesite working together,” Segal said.

Jobs will be available for people of almost all ages, with theexception of very young children who can participate in the on-sitedaycare programs.

People will be divided into groups of two and three with atleast one skilled worker in each group. Supervisors will also bespread throughout the site.

The site will have several sections to help organize the effort.The sections include volunteer tent for signing in and gettingassignments, a tool area, food tent and wood-preparation area.First-aid and security will also be provided for volunteers.

In order to fund the large community playground, Kids’ Kingdomcommittee members continue to raise money by selling bricks to pavethe entrance sidewalk and pickets to line the fence.

The bricks, which cost $50 each, and the pickets, costing $25 apiece, can be engraved in memory or in honor of someone special.They will be sold until Feb. 15 at any of the local banks.

Some of the playground equipment can also be purchased bymembers of the community, businesses or churches to help fund theeffort to bring a quality playground to the area.