The original wood playground that endured 19 years of weather and heavy use deteriorated, prompting its replacement with a modern one that is safer and allows children of diverse abilities to play side-by-side with their peers. To remain compliant with safety standards and reduce risks of injury, the wood playground was removed last fall to make way for features the community identified during public input events, including an inclusive design and custom toys. City of Kennewick Parks and Recreation Director Emily Estes-Cross reported while parts of the wood above ground looked to be healthy after years of resealing, during demolition it was discovered sections of the structure foundation were rotting.
The installation of the next phase of toys and the smooth surface that can be navigated by people with mobility limitations is largely funded by sponsor Toyota of Tri-Cities. Details will be unveiled in late April. In the meantime, volunteers from Lamb Weston are preparing the ground for the manufacturer to install the next phase.
Final completion of the playground is contingent upon sponsorship funds secured. The city budgeted $325,000 toward the $1 million inclusive playground, and is fundraising for the final $117,000 to complete.
Inscribed pickets purchased by donors that made up the fence line of the original playground are available for pickup at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex during business hours. More information and a link to donate to the rebuild are available at www.go2kennewick.com/PlaygroundOfDreams.
For more information, please contact Emily Estes-Cross at (509) 585-4258 or email@example.com.