Sitka Community Playground group to meet Nov. 15 to work on FUNdraising projects

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The new Sitka Community Playground project has been designed, now we need to raise funds to purchase equipment that inspires play and imagination in our children.

The next meeting to help organize the FUNdraising campaign will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Sitka Community Hospital classroom (on the lower level). We will meet to work on fundraising strategies to build the first American Disabilities Act-compliant playground in Sitka. At this meeting we will be preparing a mailing asking for donations, so be prepared to stuff envelopes during the meeting.

turkey-trot-adIn recent weeks, the playground project group has planned or hosted several smaller fundraisers, including a day when local LuLaRoe distributors donated nearly $2,000 in sales to the project. From
4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22, there will be a pie sale at AC Lakeside, with the money raised going toward the playground. The upcoming Sitka Community Hospital’s five-kilometer Turkey Trot at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 24, will be a fundraiser for the project (and the t-shirts will have a Sitka Community Playground logo on them).

While the group has been hosting smaller fundraising events, it also has been developing its strategy for making larger requests to corporations and applications for grants. If the project is fully funded it will take about $700,000. A list of the various playground items and their costs is posted below, and people or organizations can sponsor specific pieces of playground equipment. Click this link to hear a recent KCAW-Raven Radio morning interview with committee member Bridget Hitchcock to learn more about the project.

07-15-16-Sitka Community Playground Concept PlanLocal landscape architect Monique Anderson and artists Laura Kaltenstein hosted a Design Day for kids and parents in April, and other artists have met with students at local schools. Those ideas have been refined (see the new video at the bottom of this post), and now we’re ready to take the next step — raising money to get the playground built.

The Sitka Community Playground is a community wellness project from the 2015 Sitka Health Summit, and the goal of the project is to create an accessible, attractive, low maintenance and safe community playground that will meet the needs of both children and their families.

The community playground project initially was selected as a community wellness project at the 2011 Sitka Health Summit, but stalled after some initial work was done. The project was rekindled in 2014, when the city approved a site where the current Crescent Harbor playground is located, plus one of the three neighboring tennis courts.

The renewed project for 2015 will benefit from $2,000 in project seed money from the Sitka Health Summit. The committee also has been applying for other grants to help fund construction of what hopefully will become the only Sitka playground that will be compliant with the American Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. Previously there had been some design work done for another place in Sitka, in partnership with local students, but the group hopes to revamp the design with a new group of students.

To learn more about the Sitka Community Playground project, contact Dave Nuetzel at 747-6859, Kay Turner at 623-7878 or Kealoha Harmon at 747-3500, or send an email to sitka.community.playground@gmail.com. You also can go to the Sitka Community Playground website, http://sitkacommunityplay.wix.com/home, or join the Facebook group. In addition, there is a link on the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) website where people can make online donations. A Sitka Community Playground component list with prices is posted below, for people/companies/organizations that want to sponsor a particular component (note, the list is in two columns).

• Sitka Community Playground information sheet (updated Aug. 20, 2016)

• Sitka Community Playground component list for people/companies wanting to sponsor a particular component (note, list is two columns)

• Sitka Community Playground coloring sheet

• Sitka Community Playground note card

• Sitka Community Playground flier

• Sitka Community Playground quarter-page handouts (two-sided PDF)

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About Charles Bingham

I build community and health project websites in Sitka, Alaska. My sites include http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/, http://walksitka.wordpress.com/, http://sitkacycling.wordpress.com/, and https://getoutsitka.wordpress.com/. My portfolio site is http://charlesbingham.wordpress.com/.
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