PORT ANGELES — A week from today, Dream Playground II will be in place at Third and Race streets in Port Angeles, with children expected to be able play on the new structures by mid-July.
The six-day community build of a refurbished, upgraded playground begins Tuesday. The modern synthetic grass play surface is scheduled for installation in early July.
Some 900 volunteers have registered to contribute their skills, energy and time to the rebuild, but more are needed, said Steve Methner, president of the Dream Playground Foundation.
So far, the build has about 50 people signed up for each of 18 shifts, Methner said.
“We can take up to 100 per shift,” he said Friday.
The original build in 2002 was the largest volunteer effort in recent memory in Port Angeles.
“For the Generation II build, we are optimistic that people who come to help early in the process will get ‘hooked’ and want to keep coming throughout the build,” Methner said in a press release.
“However, on our official signup sheet, some of the evening and weekend shifts are still very sparse.
“We are also still asking for loaned tools, which will be catalogued, kept securely, and returned in as-good or better condition at the end of the build.”
Trees around the site were taken out in May. Two 12-foot fir tree stumps were sculpted by chainsaw carvers Jeff Eshom of ButtCutt Woodworking and Nick Bielby of Nicklby Wood Carving earlier this month. Scot Clark of Clark Land office supervised and set all the stakes last weekend.
On Friday, post holes were drilled. On Monday, foundation board members and city crew members will set up a volunteer tent and continue setting up the site.
The first shift will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Three shifts per day will run through 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
“I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people who didn’t sign up who intend to come,” Methner said.
He urged those who want to participate to register at the foundation’s website at https://www.padreamplayground.org/.
“It makes it faster to check in,” he said.
Those who don’t sign up online but who still want to help are welcome to join the work crews.
“If you don’t sign up online, you can come down for the second shift at noon Tuesday,” he said; Tuesday’s first shift is set.
Lunch and dinner will be provided daily to volunteers.
Contributing food are Country Aire, Nor’Wester Rotary, Coast Guard, Safeway, Fresh Wok, Domino’s Pizza, Peninsula Bottling, Sergio’s Family Mexican Restaurant, ,Gordy’s Pizza and Pasta, Linda DeBord and the Lions Club.
The original Dream Playground, built by volunteers in 2002 from design suggestions from area children, was torn down earlier this year amid complaints from parents not being able to see their children at all times as they played. The park also had been used as a shelter by homeless individuals and drug users.
The new playground will have clear sight lines for parents to keep their eyes on their children. It also will feature an improved play surface, replacing the former wood chips that could conceal hypodermic needles and other dropped objects with artificial turf developed specifically for playgrounds.
The overall budget is $545,000, with $170,00 coming from grants through the City of Port Angeles.
Support has come from a large variety of businesses, service clubs and individuals, with much of the work donated.
Among them: 2 Grade Construction; Bruch and Bruch Construction, Inc.; Sitkum Tree Service; Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe; Hermann Brothers Logging & Construction; RJ Services; Kandu Construction; Clark Land Office; Moss and United Way of Clallam County.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].
Reporter Rob Ollikainen and Photojournalilst Keith Thorpe contributed to this story.