Construction of the long planned $100,000 Idyllwild Community Playground begins Wednesday, June 13. Lead organizer and fundraiser Dawn Sonnier said that volunteers of all sizes, stripes and skill sets are still needed. Collection of tools began this weekend on the Idyllwild Community Center site. Villagers who loan tools will be given receipts and tools will be tagged with the names of those loaning them. Broken tools will be repaired on site or replaced according to Sonnier.
Beginning Wednesday and continuing through Father’s Day, June 17, crews of volunteers will work in shifts — from 8 a.m. to noon; from 12:30 to 5 p.m.; and from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Particularly needed are volunteers to help with construction — not just the heavy lifting, drilling and fastening but also less strenuous assistance such as raking, sanding, painting and shoveling.
“There’s a job for everyone,” said Sonnier, hoping with this event to recapture the communal good feeling and participation that was part of the building of Town Hall in the 1940s. “Just show up, we’ll put you to work,” said Sonnier, noting that weekend signups are specifically sparse. She stressed that volunteers do not have to work a full shift. “Stay as long as you can, do as much as you can,” she said.
The plan is to complete the playground by late Sunday afternoon or early evening. Then there’s a dinner for all volunteers followed by a brief ceremony, ribbon cutting and formal opening of the playground to the community.
“Our goal is to be done [with playground installation] by 6 p.m. on Sunday,” said Sonnier.
Playground contractors Leathers and Associates of Ithaca, N.Y., are responsible for the supervision and ultimate certification of the playground installation.
Installation caps a dramatic multi-year fundraising effort by Sonnier and Idyllwild Community Recreation Council volunteers and supporters. Now all that is needed is community assistance.
“I’m starting to feel my joy about all this,” said Sonnier.