The Idyllwild Community Recreation Council is about to realize Dawn Sonnier and Emily White’s long-held dream — to have a community playground become the first major construction at the Idyllwild Community Center site. And, not only will the project be completed in a five-day scheduled construction, it will be built by the community it is designed to serve. Starting Wednesday, June 13, Sonnier and crew hope to shepherd and guide hundreds of community volunteers not only through the installation of the imaginative playground and recreation space, but also have community artists and children imprint the space with Idyllwild art.

Progress on the gazebo at the Idyllwild Community Center playground continued last week in advance of the playground construction, planned for June. Mike Wrench is working on the roof, while Dawn Sonnier, levels the ground in front, and contractor Paul Newkirk measures another beam. Also contributing to Saturday’s progress, but not pictured, are Justin Lehr, Jody Posey, Debbie and Wes Rizor and Jason Sonnier. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Tools are needed. The week prior to construction, Rotarian Rick Foster will begin to collect loaned tools, tagging them with owners’ names and storing them in a locked container on site. Just as when the community built Town Hall, locals will prepare meals for volunteer workers. The entire $100,000-plus project is scheduled to wrap on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17. Leathers and Associates, of Ithaca, N.Y., will oversee the playground build and certify it after completion.

Leathers and Associates has a long history of coordinating community-built playgrounds starting in the 1970s. Leathers and Associates’ staff provide administration, design, drafting, project management and construction supervision and are Certified Playground Safety Inspectors through the National Recreation and Parks Association. Sonnier and team are in the process of verifying volunteer commitment. If you are interested, contact her at (951) 315-7881 or at [email protected] Donors for the project come from all parts of the Idyllwild community as well as from off the Hill.

In other business, Gary Steven, ice rink entrepreneur, still has not paid a $1,400 bill for water and electricity for the rink at the ICC site that never opened. Larry Kawano speaks on matters cosmological at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, at Silver Pines Lodge. The final Speaker Series event on June 20 at Quiet Creek Gallery, “Painting in the Outdoors, Also Known as ‘Plein Air Painting’” is a live demonstration by award-winning oil painter Rich Stergulz of Murrieta. The event is co-sponsored by the Art Alliance of Idyllwild.