On Saturday at 10 a.m., Metro Parks Commissioners and staff will join the South End Neighborhood Council in welcoming children to once again crawl, climb, wriggle and slide at Alling Park.
Alling received a major make-over this year made possible in large part by the 2005 Park Improvement bond. Prior to passage of the bond, the South End Neighborhood Council led a five-year fundraising effort to replace the park’s playground equipment. The council completed their efforts in time to incorporate the new gear in the park’s renovation and from the moment the contractors pulled down the construction fencing the park was filled with neighborhood children.
On July 24, just 12 weeks after the park opened, vandals set it ablaze. The fire burned so intensely that the entire structure was a total loss, down its metal support posts. Immediately following completion of police and fire investigations, park crews removed the unsafe structure. With only the park’s swing set left for neighborhood children to play on, the South End Neighborhood Council and Metro Parks staff set to work to replace the playground. Parks staff met with the neighbors to select the replacement equipment and requested permission from the the Executive Director and Park Board to begin the purchasing process in tandem with processing insurance claims for the damages. The South End Neighborhood Council established a fund to help offset the cost of Metro Parks insurance deductible for the claim.
The planning team who coordinated the timely purchase and installation of the $91,907 playground replacement is currently at the mid-point of implementing $84.3 million of park updates taking place at more than 60 locations throughout the park district.
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is partnering with Metro Parks to join the community in Saturday’s celebration. The museum will provide each child who attends the morning celebration with a complimentary pass to visit the museum in the cold months ahead, and will host a drawing for a free PlayFULL Family Membership, providing three months of access to the museum.