UPDATE- SLIDESHOW: Roxhill Playground makeover is a unique community effort; More volunteers needed
Work starts Friday Nov. 2 ; Park should be dedicated in January.
UPDATE Nov. 2
A team of volunteers swarmed the site of the playground construction and made quick work of assembling the first parts of the framework for what will become two “castles” on the site. Organizer Mat McBride said, “This is great and we’re happy about all these people but there will be a ton more on the weekend.” The volunteers were across the board from those skilled with power tools to people just there to carry materials to be installed. This initial phase of installation is expected to be complete by Tuesday.
“Roxhill Castle” at Roxhill Park playground, as the West Seattle Herald reported on Oct.11 is in the midst of a makeover. But unlike any other project involving Seattle Parks, this one truly represents the community. In a true partnership between Parks, community volunteers and area businesses the playground and its castle theme are being rebuilt to create a long term community asset. Also underway, just adjacent to the playground, is the work on the Roxhill Skatespot by West Seattle’s own Grindline Skateparks.
The volunteer effort has been striking with as many as 60 people showing up on weekend build days according to organizer Whitney McBride, who, along with her husband Mat has been responsible for keeping everyone in line and on task.
“Originally this was going to be slated as just a tear down and they were going to throw up one of those parks you see everywhere else”, said McBride. But last year the couple attended a community meeting with their nine year old son Gabriel and he stood up and spoke. “He spoke about the Castle Park and how important it was and what it meant to him, and how there was no other place like it in Seattle.”
The components of the playground equipment are on site now. Preparations have been made, but it all needs to be assembled on site. That’s where the community comes in.
The actual build starts Nov. 2 at 8 am (and continues until Tues. Nov. 6) with 40 people scheduled to show up for the start. The large castle and small castle will be built and finished by Nov. 6. But they need more help.
“I need people to do everything from helping with food, set up, the sign-in jobs, things that aren’t physical. I need folks who can operate circular saws and are skilled in using power tools.”
The project has good liability insurance in case you wondered.
This partnership is between the community, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The community component has perhaps been the most remarkable with not just volunteers but businesses, primarily from White Center, contributing food and more to the project. McBride mentioned Proletariat Pizza, Zippy’s Giant Burgers, and Center Tool Rental as being particularly helpful. As a by product of their help and others, the White Center and West Seattle Food Banks stand to benefit too. Non-perishable food provided to the volunteers goes to the food banks and perishable items are taken to Nickelsville, the homeless area on West Marginal Way. The food banks will also have barrels on site for donations during the build.
At the same time the playground and equipment are seeing some action, the skatespot is underway with ledges, and other internal features being put in place.
The playground will feature two castles, one large one small and the design was done by Leathers and Associates from New York. It will also offer a spinning ride, an “explorer dome” rope climbing apparatus. A climbing wall, monkey bars and a sand pit area are part of the plan too and will be added.
Volunteer Meadow Pederson offered more information about the project.
History: Roxhill Castle Park has been community powered since 1955! Each inception of the park has been built with volunteer labor and donated materials. We are continuing the tradition of building our community literally with our own hands. This is a great opportunity to flex your West Seattle and White Center Pride by creating community side by side with your neighbors.
Volunteers: As of this message, we have 275. What’s really amazing about our community is most of these people signed up for multiple shifts! But we still could use more help, especially on the shorter evening shifts from 5-8 and on the last two days (Monday and Tuesday). We also need all kinds of help (from light duty to technical) so people shouldn’t be afraid to join in because they’ve never picked up a hammer. And we really need people who do know their way around a workbench also, so if that’s you or someone you know come on down and be a Roxhill RoxStar!
Supplies: West Seattle Tool Library has helped tremendously! But we still have many things we need: specific tools, lumber and other building supplies. The Tool Library has a list of what we still need. People can call them (206-317-4671) or email firstname.lastname@example.org directly to find out how they can help. If you want to help but can’t volunteer, you can donate directly (tax deductible) and they can buy what we need.
Shelters and Such: A big thank you to the West Seattle Junction Association for lending shelters. But. This is Seattle. It will rain on our parade, er park. So if you have a pop-up shelter we could borrow it would really help out. Also, we could use a few more sturdy folding tables.