Organizers in Sitka are one step closer to remodeling the playground at Crescent Harbor. The Sitka Community Playground Project received a grant for $120,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund this month. They also earned $125,000 this year from the LWCF, and $255,000 in cash and in-kind donations, further cementing the playground’s future. 

Lynne Brandon is the volunteer grant writer for the Sitka Community Playground project and she says while they’re close, they’re still waiting on one more grant.

“We have one more grant that we’re waiting to hear about. That’s from the Rasmuson Foundation,” Brandon says. “That should get us pretty close to our goal. We’ll know by the end of the month whether they’ve approved the $275,000  request that we’ve submitted.”

If the project moves forward, it will be the first public playground in Sitka designed to meet specifications from the American Disabilities Act. The playground also incorporates idea from community members — especially kids.

Brandon says they inspired the theme- “from the forest to the sea,” with a tree fort on one side, a boat on the other…

“And a rocking raft which will help kids who are in wheelchairs get a sense of rocking,” says Brandon. “A dragon fly teeter-totter. And a merry-go round, I don’t think that has a theme to it, but kids like spinning things.”

They plan to break ground in the spring once the weather warms up. And after three years of hard work,  payoff for Brandon isn’t just about securing funds.   

“We’re all very excited for the day when we get to see the kids at play. That’s gonna be a very emotional day for a lot of people who have worked very hard for a very long time,” says Brandon.

The group is planning a community build event for May of 2018.