Monday, February 19, 2007

Playground Pictures

The first thing that I saw upon arriving at the work site for the new playground was the Burrowing Owl Habitat! The trees that can be seen in this picture are located in an area where Dr. Tuttle used to take his group of 4-Hers to look for newts and darkling beetles under pieces of wood and rocks that could be found in the scrub brush alongside the Colorado river. In this picture we're looking towards the north and the playground site is directly behind me to the south.

Here you can see part of the trail that follows the river. This dirt trail leads to a paved trail that follows a canal and train tracks from Avenue B in Yuma all the way to the Yuma Territorial Prison, which is 2 miles east of this location. From that paved trail, the new trail that follows the main canal through town can also be accessed. That trail goes from 8th Street to 32nd street and is 3 miles long. So a peaceful 5 mile bike ride through town can be had now without encountering any traffic.

Here we're looking at a head-on picture of what will become the new children's playground. All of this will become two side towers of the castle that can be seen in this rendering of what the playground will look like upon completion. This picture was taken when I first arrived early on Sunday morning to begin working on this project. There were plenty of volunteers organized according to their level of experience or lack thereof. I was teamed up with a guy named John who is a former Marine who joined the Marine Corps the same year my dad did and came to Yuma the same year that my family did (1973). He left the Marines in 1974. We worked on the right tower of the castle.

The blueprints that we were using to build this playground. This is the largest playground that this company has ever designed. The company is run by a father-son team that got their start when the father decided to design a park that his son could play in because there were no decent parks where they lived.

There were a lot of volunteers working on this project. There were so many different things happening all at once. Every portion of what would ultimately be the most amazing playground that I've ever seen in an open-access public park was being manufactured at once. The parts were not pre-cut. We were measuring and cutting every individual piece ourselves using a tape measure, a pencil, and a tablesaw.

Another picture of generous volunteers doing their thing for the kids of the future.

After 4 hours of work all of the volunteers enjoyed a lunch of pizza and potato salad while the 2nd shift started where we left off. There were 3 shifts working throughout the day and each received a meal at the end of their shift. Here we're waiting in line for our pizza.

Here is what the site looked like from my car as I left it on Sunday afternoon at about 12:30pm last Sunday afternoon. You can see the flood lights there for the folks volunteering late into the evening. Here are more pictures from the city of the construction.

Here is a picture of a typical Yuma sunset. Arizona sunsets are unequaled in my opinion. I wish that I had been on the edge of the mesa to catch this beauty in all of its glory, but this will do for now. You can see a couple of palm trees in the evening sunlight near the lower middle portion of the picture.