by Gwynn Busby, Treasurer, Town of Crestone

June 8 was the best day ever! Volunteers from our community came together with the Town of Crestone, Colorado Health Foundation, and KaBoom to transform an empty site into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground in just 6 hours at Creekside Park. Our new playground will help make play the easy choice for our youth and their families; play matters!

Crestone’s playground equipment was removed due to rotting wood and lack of safety requirements for our youth. A search for grants led the town to the Colorado Health Foundation and KaBoom. While their grant provided the equipment and guidance, the Town had to provide the volunteers. Back in March the first Design Teams were formed and met with KaBoom project leader, Katrina Biranga from Washington, D. C. The youth Design Team drew pictures of their dream playground, the adult team after looking at the youth drawings chose the equipment. Later KaBoom sent three playground designs and the youth voted for their favorite!

And then the work began! The Town Public Works Coordinator, Andrew Martinez, and Assistant, Gretchen Nelson, jumped into action preparing Creekside Park.

Thank goodness the Town also had applied for and received playground grants from the San Luis Valley Council of Government, Saguache County Conservation Trust Fund, and Saguache County Sales Tax Grants. These funds were spent locally when possible and were used to bring in several loads of dirt for Skoglund Excavating to prep Creekside Park. The grants also were able to cover the cost of port-a-potty rentals, extra dumpster, various supplies, and food for all volunteers.

A big thank you to all the local businesses that did the work to feed everyone on prep days,

and to everyone who cooked for us on Build Day. Allyson Ransom, Town Clerk, volunteered to be in charge of food that day. Andrew D’Ambruoso, Administrative Assistant, came in early each morning to have coffee ready for all the volunteers. Organizing Build Day was more work than expected. Town staff and other local volunteers under direct guidance from KaBoom Project Manager worked hard to organize and make the big event a happening And then there was Build Day! Volunteers showed up ready to work! The atmosphere was one

of unity, working in harmony, like we had all done this before. No professionals could have match or out done us. Crestone Build a Playground! That day was like no other, it was an unbelievably amazing event. The community came together and built a playground providing hundreds of kids in Crestone and all over San Luis Valley with a great safe place to

play.

A special thanks goes to all of the volunteers and especially our young ones! They played a huge roll in completing this project. I had to laugh when one of the youth Design Team members, 4-year-old Miles put his hands on his hips when watching the equipment being unloaded stating, “I ordered blue slides!”

Our reward will be watching our children play knowing you personally had a hand in providing Creekside Park Playground!

Congratulations Crestone!

Well done!