Here is a great little movie that Dulce Havill put together from video shot during the playground building days and from photographs throughout the past two years. Thanks so much Dulce. And thanks to all the people that volunteered their time to help build this wonderful playground.

In the relatively untrammeled forest area adjacent to the new playground several new play elements have recently been added.

The two themes guiding the Natural Playscape are: 1) we try to use only local materials and 2) we try to have elements that are minimal structures and leave room for individual creativity.

We owe a great amount of gratitude to Brandon Nichols for his work on these installations.  As part of his Eagle Scout project, Brandon was responsible for designing, finding materials, and installing the play elements. His brothers, parents and a friend helped with the work as well.

Brandon put in a set of  ‘stepping logs’, a balance beam, a ‘climbing stump’ and several vertical logs for a ‘build your own fort’ element.    THANK YOU BRANDON!

A few weeks later, David Tomeo added the ‘Tundra Walk’ through the forest.

On Labor day the Tomeo/Shorey families buried the McKinley Playground Project time capsule in the playground. It is marked to be opened on Labor Day 2034.

The original playground was built about 25 years ago, therefore it seemed fitting that this new playground might need replacing in another 25 years.

The BRFC with the loot

The BRFC with the loot

The capsule is an old Bear Resistant Food Canister and it is buried under the big horizontal tire. Within the capsule is a newspaper, mementos of the ’08 & ’09 Playground Project, cards and photos from the kids of today and several Denali-specific items.

See you at the playground, September 2034!

If you haven’t seen the playground this month you’ll be surprised at the changes since your last visit.  Following the ‘Big Build Days’ of the main structure we’ve added the tetherball court, buried a new 20′ tunnel through the ‘dirt mountain’,  placed the monster tires, almost have the new swing set completed and have reshaped the border around the basketball court.

Here are some of the changes:

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If you’ve got some time to help, here’s what we hope to complete before snow falls:

  • clean up & spread the last load of pea gravel in the swing set area
  • hang the swings
  • clean up the debris & spilled gravel around the tetherball area
  • have an electrician mount exterior light for the basketball court
  • rebuild the spiral slide with the 2nd set of instructions
  • install wind-protection clips on the structure’s roof
  • build timber boardwalk into the forested area
  • finish cutting/brushing at the bottom of the sledding hill
  • find or build a sign/bulletin board for the playground
  • help Brandon with his Eagle Scout Project (natural playscape)

Some of these tasks are self-explanatory, but feel free to call the Tomeo’s for more details and supplies.

We’ve come a long way.  Only a little more to go.

Below is a gallery of photos showing our progress over the past two summers.  If you happen to have any good photos to add to this gallery please let us know.  Dulce is helping us organize these photos & some video into a nice dvd presentation.

Playground Photo Gallery

See you at the playground.

Thank You!!!!

2009-08-03_012Thank you to all the great volunteers that helped build the new play structure and work on the playground project during our work party days.

A special thanks to our food sponsors;  The Denali Salmon Bake & Canyon Market, Subway, Lynx Creek Pizza, Black Bear Coffeehouse, 229 Parks.

And another special thanks to the Nichols family of Cantwell for helping “in force” on three separate days!

All the volunteers were great! Thank you all for helping to make the playground better, safer, and more fun.

The great volunteer crew:P8019649
Pete/Lynn/Sasha Vraspir, Steve Jones, Bill Rodwell, Jeff Craig (aka Cruiser), Cass Ray, Catina/Ryan/Brandon/Bryce/Bryan/Brad/Cate Nichols, Martha/David/Emma/Will Tomeo, Dulce Havill, Clay/Sarah/Ayla/Addison/Abigail Walker, Kris Capps, Karen/Riley/Viola/Chuck Tomkiewicz, Jim/Jess/Kate Lebel, Sarah/Joe/Isaac/Ian Van Horn, Elizabeth/Torin/Lily Hooge, Steve/Xavier/Svante Anastasia, Nicole Gonzalez, Bernadette/Dylan/Grace C., David Cohen, Astri Dominick, Bruce Richardson, Marcia/T’Kai Marshall, Chris Romine, Dean, Jeralyn Hath

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The ground is being prepared right now for the next phase of the McKinley Playground Project.  Within a week  a container full of the pieces for the brand new playground structure and swing set will be offloaded at the community center.

Here are some photos of a play structure similar to what we will be assembling, as well as the swing set to be built:

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WE NEED YOUR HELP TO PUT THIS ALL TOGETHER!

Here are the days we need your help:

*Wed. July 15th 5:30-7:30pm – a short work party prepping for the big days.
*Sat. July 25th 9am – 5pm – Setting the landscape timbers and foundation prep.
*Fri. July 31th 9am-5pm – Big Construction Day! (lunch provided)
*Sat. August 1st 9am-5pm – Big Construction Day! (lunch provided)

To Volunteer, bring work gloves, water bottle, and a motivating attitude!
For more info call David or Martha at 683-2788.

The McKinley Playground Project continues to make great new progress! Two great steps were made in June.

On June 20th under the leadership and hard work of Bill Rodwell the basketball court slab was poured. With lots of schlepping and pushing of sloppy wheel barrows Bill, along with a gang of great volunteers, helped make the court.  A big thanks goes to Bill Rodwell, Clay Walker, Pete Vraspir, David Tomeo,  Zack & Ben (Chuck & Dulce’s Nephews) and all of the other folks that helped with the preparation.

We now have a great new area to play. In addition to playing ball, the local kids are already riding bikes on the court and even coloring the slab with chalk.

Bill shoulders the weight

Bill shoulders the weight

The Volunteer Gang!!

The Volunteer Gang!!

On June 27th the Moose Scat Scoot Fun Run was held as a fundraising event to benefit the Playground Project. A BIG thanks goes to Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture and their Activities Manager Fith Fithian for sponsoring and organizing the event.   The event drew more than 70 runners/walker/bikers and in the end raised over $4100 for the playground. Thank you to all who participated, volunteered and/or donated to the event!

Volunteers hand water to the 'Scooters'

Volunteers hand water to the 'Scooters'

With the funds raised by the Moose Scat Scoot we have now easily surpassed the matching amount needed for the 2010 Denali Borough Grant and we have funds to complete much more than we anticipated this summer.  Full steam ahead!

After subtracting the cost of supplies and adding in the tip jar funds the Pancake Feed brought in $1347.99 of net profit for the playground project!

Thank you volunteers!  Thank you sponsors & donors!

And thank you, the community of Denali, for eating pancakes with us and helping us foster a fun and safe place for kids (& adults) to play at the McKinley Park Community Center.

The pancake feed was a fantastic event.  Many people commented that it was one of the most fun community gatherings held in a long time. The cakes were kickin’, the ‘Blueberry Bottom Boys’ played hoppin’ harmonies, the wildberry & maple syrups were savory, the pancakes were flying, and so were the smiles.  Thanks everybody!

And thanks to these wonderful sponsors:
Birchboy Gourmet Syrups – (www.birchboy.com)
Silverhook/Kaladi Brothers Coffee – (www.silverhook.com & www.kaladibothers.com)
Fred Meyers Fairbanks – (www.fredmeyers.com)
Ree Nancarrow – (no-website-needed.com)
The Salmon Bake and Miners Market – (www.thebakerocks.com)

The Event Specifics:
Number of Pancakes Made = 554
Number of Attendees = 118 total
Number of Volunteers = 16
Number of pancakes lost or damaged during the pancake stunts: 8

Here are some photos from Kris, Lynn, Kate & David:

Jim running another batch!

Jim running another batch!

The Blueberry Bottom Boys are joined by the Tomeos!

The Blueberry Bottom Boys are joined by the Tomeos!

Kris mixes it up with blueberry AND maple syrups together!

Kris mixes it up with blueberry AND maple together!

Isaac goes in for the catch!

Isaac goes in for the catch!

Cass and Jerri griddlin' it up!

Cass and Jerri griddlin' it up!

Vernon & Pete are satisfied!

Vernon & Pete are satisfied!

The cake went up, will it come down?

The cake went up, will it come down?

The man at the helm!

The man at the helm!

Emma helping count the take!

Emma helping count the take!

the first bite, the first customer!

the first bite, the first customer!

Some of the pancake kids!

Some of the pancake kids!

Saturday, May 16th is Pancake Day in Denali!

All-You-Can-Eat-Pancake Fest to Benefit the Playground Project

8am to 12noon at the McKinley Park Community Center

The Pancake Society Pledge:
I solemnly swear, from this day forth to enjoy the flip-tastic delight that is pancakes and to branch out and experiment with different toppings this Pancake Day and beyond.

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Stay tuned, in the coming weeks look for the “Pancake Fact of the Day!”  These very important tidbits will be posted here & in the Denali Park Post Office.


Because everybody should have a place to play!

A web space to help us improve and expand the playground and recreation area at the McKinley Community Center in Denali Park, AK.

News!!

The new swings are hung!
Spiral slide is rebuilt!
The time capsule was buried!
There is 2nd basketball hoop!
The new playstructure is up!

This project is partially funded by the citizens of the Denali Borough.
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