BIKES IN BIKE RACK – A couple of peewee sized bikes occupy the recently installed bicycle rack at the Playground @ Ft. Steilacoom Park.
It all started slightly more than two years ago when Mary Lou Sclair was going to become president of the Rotary Club of Lakewood. The club historically had turned to its incoming president to suggest major community projects for which money would be raised during that president’s tenure.
“I’d like to see us build some swings at Fort Steilacoom Park for my grandkids and others,” she told the board.
From that simple idea grew the Playground @ Ft. Steilacoom Park which was built in a weeklong blitz exactly one year ago. The project got underway June 6 and on June 12 hundreds of children and their parents packed the playground to enjoy the wide variety of equipment erected …. including a bunch of swings.
Approximately 3,000 volunteers worked daily in building the playground, going from bare ground to a completed facility in the week. Coordinated by the Lakewood Rotary Club, virtually every organization in the cities joined in the effort, as did the county and cities of Lakewood and Steilacoom. More than $200,000 was raised from foundations, clubs, selling fence slats and members of the communities.
DRINKING FOUNTAIN – This drinking fountain near the entrance to the Playground @ Ft. Steilacoom Park was purchased as part of the construction project and was recently installed by City of Lakewood Parks Department employees.
But the playground was just one phase of the massive park’s development in the last couple years.
Combined county and city funds (both Lakewood and Steilacoom) helped rejuvenate two baseball fields and a huge area for soccer fields plus add two additional ball fields.
Volunteers under the banner of Partners for Parks raised funds for a much-needed bathroom and it was erected and opened this spring.
Dog lovers got together and raised the money and provided the muscle to fence off a couple of off-leash areas for small dogs and large ones.
Now, the Rotary Club of Clover Park is completing a picnic shelter adjacent to the playground.
Within the last month, City of Lakewood Parks Department staff members have installed the bicycle rack and drinking fountain that was purchased as part of the playground construction project, completing all aspects of that effort. The City of Lakewood and Pierce County switched roles at the first of the year with the city taking over maintenance duties and the county providing part of the funding, an exact reversal of previous roles.
The picnic shelter project is awaiting parts for electrical connections so a concrete floor can be poured.