Ryan Belardi, 8, rides a zipline Wednesday at the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield as siblings James Belardi, 6, and Hayleigh Belardi, 2, along with their mother, Rachel Belardi, all of Port Angeles, wait at the launch platform. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Ryan Belardi, 8, rides a zipline Wednesday at the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield as siblings James Belardi, 6, and Hayleigh Belardi, 2, along with their mother, Rachel Belardi, all of Port Angeles, wait at the launch platform. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Weekend sale to raise money for security lighting

Foundation board members donating funds

PORT ANGELES — Once you’ve built it, you have to protect it.

Members of the nonprofit Dream Playground Foundation, who organized construction of the updated Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield, have a goal of installing at the site security and safety lighting, which will be funded primarily through a donation from one of its members.

Board member Al Oman and his wife, Nancy, plan to hold an estate and garage sale this weekend of items that formally belonged to Oman relatives, as well as a collection of other things contributed by friends and other board members.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the lighting effort.

The sale is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 214 Hancock Ave. in Port Angeles. Included will be furniture, tools, dishware, silver, appliances and numerous other items.

Steve Methner, president of the foundation, said he was grateful for the Omans’ efforts to improve the playground.

“It’s a really touching thing,” he said. “Al and Nancy weren’t quite sure what to do with all his parents’ things.”

Al Oman, who helped construct the new playground, said he had been storing family items in an outbuilding for years and that it was finally time to begin dispersing some of it.

“It’s just an accumulation,” he said. “It just all ended up with me.”

Methner said the lights would be primarily for security of the playground and not for nighttime play. He added that plans are still in the early stages and that he had no estimate of cost or scope of the project.

“I really have no idea yet. It’s a new idea that we’ve decided to do very recently, and we really don’t know what it’s going to take to do this,” he said.

Oman, who also does electrical work for the City of Port Angeles, said there are specific standards that have to be met when it comes to outdoor lighting. Energy efficiency and the mitigation of light pollution are among them.

“You can’t just throw any old light up,” he said.

The second version of the Dream Playground was built on the site of a former version of the playground, which was razed earlier this year amid concerns about safety and maintenance.

Like its predecessor, the new playground was designed primarily by area children, paid for through a fundraising campaign and built by volunteers over several weeks in June and July.

It was opened to the public on Aug. 20 and formally dedicated on Sept. 11.

Methner said the Omans’ efforts are a welcome contribution, keeping in the community spirit of the Dream Playground.

“This is such a neat thing to do,” he said.

________

Photojournalist Keith Thorpe can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 59050, or at [email protected].

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