Monday, September 26, 2011

Update and Call For Fundraising Volunteers For Upcoming Laurelhurst Park Playground Renovation

Proposed design with phasing plan

Karina Kunins, who has been heading up the Laurelhurst Park playground renovation, sent us an exciting update to share and also a call for volunteers to join the Fundraising Committee so all phases of the design can be completed.

Karina and the Steering Committee have been working on this project for over 2 years now.  The neighborhood group, calling themselves “Play It Safe at Laurelhurst Park” oganized themseles in 2008 when they began their first project at the park to to bring about playground equipment specifically for 2-5 year olds, of which their was none for that age group. The group self-fundraised and worked in partnership with Seattle Parks to install a few new pieces of equipment that is very popular among kids.

It was during that process, the group found out that most of the other Laurelhurst playground equipment was over 20 years old and needed to be replaced. And through the voter-approved 2008 Seattle Parks and Green Spaces Levy, Seattle Parks has allocated $400,000 to upgrade both the equipment and the space itself.

Karina told us that this $400K (from the 2008 Parks Green Spaces Levy) will be awarded to Laurelhurst Park for playground renovation in January 2012.

She said "This is great, but it will only get us through the design of phase 1 of the park. If we fundraise for $50K, we can apply for a $100K grant, and that will give us the everything through phase 3!"

Wendy Kelley and Karina will be spearheading the fundraising and writing another grant to the Department of Neighborhoods asking for additional funds.

They are looking for volunteers to to help on the fundraising committee. If interested, contact Karina at

Some of the proposed design features include:
  • Several outdoor “rooms”—tot area for ages 2-5, a bigger kid play space (ages 5-12), swings and picnic areas.
  • Adequate seating for parents (a retaining wall flanked by boulders) and a new sandbox.
  • Near toddler area, will be 5-12 kid area (so a parent will be able to track their older children too), and will be complete with a huge tree house-like fort play structure and will feature a lifelike tree slide.
  • The existing tire swing, merry-go-round, and swings will remain. A pathway and a few rubber mounds suggesting an “island” and “beach” will separate the swings.
  • The existing picnic area will be re-imagined with a boat covered picnic table surrounded by natural plantings, paths and downed logs (resembling drift wood).
  • The circular concrete plaza will remain (for community center concerts and events) but will be flanked by boulders better connecting it with the playground.
  • Connecting the playground with the rest of the park will be a series of pathways—children can ride bikes, and there will be improved access to the playground for strollers and wheel chairs. The paths will also connect with the existing park trails.
For more information on the playground project, go to their Facebook page.


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