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Cedar Hill playground goodbye — and hello

Dragon and other play features at Cedar Hill Playground

Last day at Cedar Hill playground (1988-2011)

It wasn’t exactly crowded, but on Sunday afternoon Cedar Hill Park playground entertained several families visiting for the last time before it closed on Monday to be torn down and replaced.

It’s been a wonderful play space since 1988. My family is one of many that have fond memories of good times there.

However,  it’s showing its age — much like the kids who helped design it and build it in the 1980s. The wood is getting splintery and some of the play areas no longer meet current safety rules. That’s why it’s being replaced with a new similar “kid-designed” playground, once again to be built by community volunteers under the direction of Leathers & Associates. The new playground will be similar in design, but it will be built with recycled plastic lumber that should last about 50 years — and can be painted much more extensively than the pressure-treated wood used in the 1988 playground.

The community build will happen Wednesday, May 18 through Sunday, May 22. Hundreds of volunteers are needed each day. There are volunteer jobs for just about everybody — from actual building to child care (so parents can help build) to serving food to the volunteers. I hear that the Leathers folks know how to find useful tasks that even young children in the child care area can feel they are part of the construction process. Sign-up is on this webpage. The 12-hour work day is divided into three shifts: 8 am to noon, noon to 5, and 5 to 8 pm, and volunteers can choose a job that suits their abilities and interest.

I haven’t picked my jobs and times yet, but I know I will be there to help make a new playground that will be as great for tomorrow’s kids as this one was for my son and his friends.

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