Commentary by Doug Osborne.
Last Thursday (10-27-11) at the Blatchley Middle School library, Play by Design architect John Dean gathered a group of youngsters around a map of a playground that he drew up that day.
Thanks to our local schools John was able to spend the morning with about 200 youngsters who fed him with a steady stream of brilliant and creative ideas. This resulted in a preliminary design that made kids of all ages “ooh” and “aah.” It featured a pirate ship, a volcano, a tree house with zip line, a castle, wobbly bridge, tot lot, and more. The kids and the parents who were present agreed that it was awesome!
The plan is to put this design into action, and in September of 2012 to have a 6-day barn raising style event. In that time volunteers will put together this new, unique, and ADA accessible playground. When all is said and done a flock of youngsters will wait outside the entrance for the a ribbon cutting countdown. John assured us that when we reached zero, cut the ribbon, and saw the stream of exuberant children taking to the playground for the first time, it would all be worth it.
We are fortunate to have a local champion named Alice Marcus who has been working tirelessly to make this vision happen. Our kids are great and they deserve great places to be. We can give them that kind of place.
There are many ways to get involved and help out. You can stay tuned for details, come to the next meeting on November 9, or check out the Play by Design website.