Tot lot gets $5,000 challenge donation |

Tot lot gets $5,000 challenge donation

Pete FowlerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

The outdoor play area or “tot lot” at the Community Center received a $5,000 challenge grant toward completing its play features.But it still needs more to finish the project.The $5,000 came from a private donor who wants to remain anonymous. Terri Miller, board president of the Two Rivers Community Foundation, said it was given by someone interested in the tot lot as a challenge to try to get donors to contribute the rest of the funds. She announced the donation at a Glenwood Springs City Council meeting Thursday night.The TRCF also has about $1,880 to go toward the play features. But that leaves more than $18,000 to go to meet the projected $25,000 completing the tot lot would cost. If money can’t be raised, completion could be delayed beyond summer 2008.”That’s a large challenge grant for someone in the community to give,” Miller said. “I think we have to jump on that opportunity and hope for people to follow through. … People came through to help get the aquatic center built, and I believe they’ll come through to get this built.”

Almost $50,000 worth of work is expected to be done this month on the basic infrastructure, such as grading, concrete and boulders, but to complete the play features on top of that, the project needs about $18,000 more.Funding for the first phase came from a Great Outdoors Colorado Grant of about $25,000, matched by $25,000 in city funds, said superintendent of parks and recreation Tom Barnes.The tot lot is meant to be interactive, to engage the senses and encourage “creative play,” Barnes said. It will include a sand lot with a water pool a few inches deep in the center of its 70-by-100 foot core. Children could make sand castles in that area. There’s also a slide, birdhouses, gardens and a “butterfly pavilion.” The pavilion is designed to be a colorful area that might attract butterflies and stimulate creativity. The center of the lot would be a softer wood-fiber surface, with other areas of turf and concrete.Plans for the play area include a bouldering area. There would also be additional features including peripheral pathways, an interactive nature display, a slide, timber steps and a jungle gym. The tot lot would connect to the indoor child care area and the “sound garden,” where one can find pitched percussion instruments, a xylophone and chimes organized around gardens and a gas fireplace. It will be open to the general public as a city park.The new tennis court at the Community Center is also under construction and is expected be ready in the spring of 2008.

Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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