Update: Delridge playground breakthrough, and how you can help

Yesterday, we brought you North Delridge Neighborhood Council co-vice chair Betsy Hoffmeister‘s report on a proposal that could bring a major improvement to the Delridge Community Center playground for a dramatically reduced cost – if the city would go along with an innovative proposal to get it done. Today, good news from Betsy – one important approval is in – but help is still needed — here’s what she just wrote about what’s happening and how you can pitch in:

We have a commitment from our AMAZING community neighbor, McLaughlin Brothers Construction, to prepare the site at Delridge Community Center for building a new playground – for FREE. This means we could get a new playground at Delridge Community Center on July 17. That’s only 10 weeks away!! Most amazing of all, we got approval from the Parks Department to allow the pro bono work in this special circumstance. One of the least-served communities in the West Seattle Peninsula could get a brand new playground with a less than $11,000 commitment from the community.

Here’s how it works:

a) The Community Center wrote a proposal to KaBOOM! This proposal included a promise of $7,500 in earnest money towards the purchase of playground equipment. With a yard sale, raffle, donations from neighbors from North Delridge, Nucor Steel, BECU, MacMillan Piper, Wick Homes, Cyclops Restaurant, and the Community School of West Seattle, we have raised $6680. The Community Center has come up with some cash of their own, too. So we were able to promise the $7500.

b) KaBOOM! loved the proposal. KaBOOM! then did two screening interviews.

c) The Community Center wrote a Small and Simple proposal to the City for funding for the site preparation. That decision doesn’t come down until mid-May, and KaBOOM! needs to know whether we can get the site prepared way before then, so we hustled out and found our fairy godparents, Paul and Sally of McLaughlin Brother’s Construction (seriously, if you need a hole dug or a driveway made, these folks are the ones for you! Support your neighbors!) So, we hustled REALLY hard and got the City to agree to this pro bono work. You’d be amazed at how much red tape is involved in allowing someone to do something for the City for free.

d) KaBOOM! will now go to its top-secret corporate partner and say “We think the Delridge Community Center is an excellent fit for your corporate dollars, and we think you should build a playground there.” The sponsor will ultimately make that decision.

e) When the corporate sponsor says “YES we want to build a playground at Delridge,” KaBOOM! representatives will come to the Community Center on May 12 to meet with children and their parents about their wishes for the new play space, and other improvements to make to the area as in gardens, painting a mural on the wading pool, planting fruit trees, and anything else that will beautify and improve the area. These are called “side projects.” We also rush and get the soil tested for lead and arsenic. If your business does this and you are on the approved list for the Parks Department, consider donating your services!

f) The designers come up with three proposed designs. After the Parks Department swiftly approves the designs, the community at large, but most especially the kids in the day care, preschool, before and after school, and neighborhood kids, gets to choose its favorite design.

g) McLaughlin Brothers prepares the site. We bake them lots of cookies.

h) We plan a huge party, including food, music, entertainment, and fun, and gather 70 volunteers. On July 17, over 100 volunteers from the corporate sponsor swoop in and we all get to build the playground, plant the trees, paint the wading pool, and have fun together!!

The wish list at this point includes:
1) Laminated sign at the playground saying “here’s what’s coming and here’s how to help.”

2) $4,000 to cover any miscellaneous expenses we haven’t foreseen like renting a Dumpster or putting up safety fencing. Please, keep those pledges coming. Remember, these are PLEDGES. NDNC doesn’t cash the checks until we get the grant from KaBOOM!

3) A city-approved soil testing company to donate their services.

4) Volunteer musicians and performers for the celebration day.

5) Lots of comments on the Blog to show KaBOOM how excited we are.

14 Replies to "Update: Delridge playground breakthrough, and how you can help"

  • Lisa K. April 30, 2009 (5:10 pm)

    You know I’m there for you NDNC folks! This is such a FABULOUS opportunity. Our family may not have the bucks for a huge $$ pledge but you’ve got as many pledge hours as we can give this summer. Please, please, please: choose DELRIDGE, kind KaBOOM people! This would be such a perfect project to complement the Food and Fitness Initiative. I’m dreaming of a park where kids and parents can play together and neighbors can create a sense of pride and community.

  • Christine April 30, 2009 (5:47 pm)

    Exciting News! My son goes to preschool (great, great program and teacher, btw – hidden gem!) at the Delridge CC and his class visits this playground every day. We also spend quite some time there after school. I did not know about the proposal. Just today, I thought this playground could need a little update. :-)

    Hopefully it comes true! Thumps up, Betsy! I will see how I can help to make it an even better place for our kids. Also looking forward to Wading Pool Opening Season!

  • Tristan April 30, 2009 (5:58 pm)

    Wow! I wasn’t familiar with KaBOOM! until now. I love their concept of working with and enabling communities to make playgrounds. Great job on all the local work that’s been done too. Please sign me up as a volunteer. I’m a little gimpy but I’m sure I can help in some way. Kids deserve a safe and wonderful place to play.

  • Agen April 30, 2009 (6:38 pm)

    thumbs up to Betsy. we’ll be there to help with pledges, cookies and more.

  • NGKL April 30, 2009 (7:47 pm)

    What a fantastic opportunity! We just moved to Delridge and would love to see the park improved like this. Thanks, KaBOOM! for considering Delridge. Our family will make a pledge.

  • bunnypug April 30, 2009 (8:57 pm)

    Very exciting! We live next to the park and will donate and volunteer.

  • Joleen April 30, 2009 (9:02 pm)

    Yay Paul & Sally!

  • Kathy April 30, 2009 (10:32 pm)

    We will also help and volunteer to make this happen. There is a huge need for safe equipment at this busy playground in our neighborhood. Lots of kids in the neighborhod would benefit enormously from this donation.

  • ArborHeightsMom May 1, 2009 (8:08 am)

    What a great example of good corporate citizens and neighborhoods working together. Pretty inspiring!

  • Betsy May 1, 2009 (8:28 am)

    Any neighbors offering to make pledges are kindly requested to contact betsy@hoffmeisters.com offline to find out how to make a safe, secure donation to North Delridge Neighborhood Council. I have no way through the Blog of knowing who you are! DNDA is our fiscal agent. It would be of enormous benefit to the project if you would be willing to privately commit to me the amount you would be willing to theoretically pledge. We are accepting pledges in the $5-$5000 range. :) And if you want to publicly pledge, as Community School of West Seattle already did, more power to you!

  • ale May 1, 2009 (8:58 am)

    Thank you Betsy! Thank you Paul & Sally! I used to work for the corporate office of Home Depot in Atlanta and volunteered on a KaBoom! project in my own neighborhood. Although, I am no longer with HD, I am excited at the prospect of helping work on another KaBoom! project again in my neighborhood. Thanks Betsy for posting how to pledge money. BTW – are donations tax deductible?

  • A Supporter May 1, 2009 (9:20 am)

    This is such great news – that something so beneficial can happen so fast. Thank you KaBOOM and also the construction company for building for free. You are fantanstic, deserve all the good karma you can get, and will be rewarded in goodwill from a healthier, happier neighborhood.

  • Betsy May 1, 2009 (10:41 am)

    OH right of course, donations to NDNA are tax deductible! Our fiscal sponsor is our beloved Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, who brought us the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, the Food Bank, and more…

  • Betsy May 4, 2009 (10:32 am)

    Dear friends and neighbors,
    I am thrilled to be the one to report that Delridge Community Center will be getting a new playground on JULY 17. The project sponsor is Bank of America! Thank you, Bank of America. thank you, KaBOOM! Volunteers from BOA will be there on July 17 to help our whole community build our new playground. Important dates:
    On May 6 or so, we will be getting many more details on the scope of the project.
    On the afternoon of Tuesday, MAY 12, a playground designer will be at the Community Center to meet with children and their parents to choose design elements for the playground. The kids who will get the most priority in participating in the design will be kids from the community, especially kids from the Community Center’s own preschool and after school care, as well as any kids from the SWY&FS preschool. I am not sure how many people there will be physical room for. The parents will have time to give input, as well. There will be translators.
    After one week, KaBoom will send us three playground designs to choose from. After the Parks Department swiftly confirms that all three designs are safe and appropriate for our space, there will be significant public process to do that selection and make sure everyone is on board with the design.
    What we need to accomplish in the next few weeks is raising $4000 extra to cover some extra bits. If you have volunteered to help with the playground, now is the time to contact me to get serious!

    Very excited!
    Betsy Hoffmeister
    North Delridge Neighborhood Council

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