Friends of Ballard Corners Park

Installing the Play Structure!!!

It’s so wonderful to see the community come together to raise the play structure!!!  I was thrilled to see the community participation.  We had approximately 20 adults and several kids show up to help raise the play structure.  It was really hard work (I, for one, am very sore today), but I was so proud of all the volunteers!  Thanks so much!!

So many people deserve so much credit.  I had a very limited perspective on what happened.  I was concentrated on completing the task, so I delegated as much as possible.  If I don’t/didn’t give you proper credit where credit was due, let me thank you publicly.  Thank you!!!

A few folks went beyond the call of duty, including the dusty, dirty concrete mixing crew: Morgan Hougland, Scott Drage, and Devin Kitchel.  They mixed 80 60-pound bags of concrete mix (that’s 4800 pounds of mix plus 4 pounds of water per bag – some 5120 pounds-nearly three tons-of wet concrete altogether!).  Brent Bottles started earlier, worked harder, recruited more volunteers, and stayed longer than anyone else – strong work, Brent – thank you very much.  John Barker and Jeff Mumma of Barker Landscape Architects (our park designer) came and volunteered their efforts off the clock.  I made a very spontaneous decision early on to assign Pete Pitcher to being in charge of assembling the structure (probably because he was wearing a construction jacket and appeared to have leadership and communication skills); this proved to be a wise choice – thanks, Pete.  There was the lunch and feeding crew, Danika Waddell, Rebecca Carr, and my wife Molly Roston.  And last, but now least, thanks to Gordon, who came back from a business trip to Korea a day early (and set up this blog and website where I am now posting).

assembling in the \

We started by uncrating and hauling the structure, which had been stored in my dilapidated garage for the prior 6+ months.  John Barker (our landscape architect) and Brent Bottles (hero for the day – here in the tan jacket in the background) helped with that.


Here is the “spinner”.  It was carried back to my garage afterwards by Devin Kitchel to be installed later, after the concrete sets up.

protecting the new walk

We tried hard to protect the newly laid concrete walkway.  Here we laid plastic over it.

much work

We had to dig six holes for the footings.  It was not trivial, but many hands made light work.


We ended up moving the assembly station for the tower to another location, so the foundation/footings could be laid out without interference.  Mike Rogers, of R&R Construction (with the tape measure on his waist) was the professional in charge.  We all followed his lead.

waiting to \

More assembly with the structure horizontal.

assembling the structure outside of the \

It was beautiful to see so many people help.  We had two community college students and two high school students help.

contemplating the next move

One of our high school student volunteers…Emma Hayes.  She proved, along with friend Charlotte Barker (yes, daughter of John Barker), to be excellent hole diggers.


Charlotte shows her digging skills.  Several times her dad offered to take her place, but she insisted that she wanted to do the hard work.  She was a superstar!

making holes

My daughter Camille helps out with a wheelbarrow, while I dig.

carrying the structure

Moving the structure was no less than a big team effort.

getting ready to go upright

Placing the structure in place.

assembly of ladder

There was more assembly once the structure was in place.

help abounds!

More nuts and bolts.


I take a break with Andrea Faste, co-President of Groundswell NW, our fiscal sponsor.

Danika and Lucy watch

Danika and Lucy observe from the sidewalk.

spinner support before concrete

Here is a footing before the concrete is poured.  This is the one for the spinner leg.

footing is poured

Lumping wet concrete on top of a leg.


more concrete.

Another Bottles on the project

I don’t know how Brent did it, but he managed to convince his parents and a brother (shown above) to show up, as well as his wife and daughter.  He started before 7:30 and finished after 3 with me on a dump run.  On top of that he managed to finagle a pickup truck, cement mixer, two wheelbarrows, and three shovels from RAFN, his place of employment.  Yeah, Brent!

structure upright

The lower seat.

Danika and Lucy visit the construction site

Danika and Lucy get a close up look (just before nap time).

Posted on October 12th 2008 by David Folweiler in construction,Events | Comments Off on Installing the Play Structure!!! |

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