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Kidspace

Norman, Oklahoma

On this web page, you well read a little about this undertaking and there are many pictures of the work as it was done.

Kidspace is a very large unique playground built with volunteer help at very little cost to the city. Various donations and city taxes purchased the materials, various companies donated front end loaders and Oklahoma Gas and Electric set the major posts just like they do power posts in the country. The rest was done by volunteer help in 4 days. They asked for 100 - 100 foot outdoor electrical extension cords and lots of power tools. Local restaurants donated food and drink for the volunteer workers. The city of Norman was hoping to get 100 volunteers per day, they had over 1,000. There were 4 or more high school and college Kids for every adult.

Just like in the Oklahoma City Bombing, the people went overboard in their volunteer help. Again, people were generous with time and donations. Much of the money came from selling each board in the picket fence surrounding Kidspace at $15 per board. Each board carries the first names of the donators and the excess money went to pay for the project.

Day -1. On the day before the volunteers were requested, the companies used their heavy equipment to set the large posts in the ground to serve as the main supports.

Day 1. High school juniors and seniors were offered a half day away from school to go help build the playground. When I went by to see if I could help, there were no parking spaces nearby and the place literally swarmed with workers.

Day 2. I took off Friday afternoon to go by and help. The Norman schools were having a counseling day for parents to come to the schools to check their Kids work during the first 9 weeks of the second semester so I figured that they would need help at the playground construction site. I was wrong. There were hundreds of people swarming over the site. There were adults doing the main structural work that could involve safety and hundreds of high school and college Kids putting up the picket fences, turning wrenches, leveling 6 inches of gravel or the 6 inches of wood shavings a foot deep over the gravel throughout the playground. There were 4-6 people working for every 10 square feet of space inside the playground. These Kids (and adults) were not required to be there and taking their day off to help build it.

Day 3. Rain. As you can see from the pictures, they put up various colored tarps from home over the areas where they were using electrical equipment and everyone else just worked in the rain. There were still hundreds of helpers.

Day 4. Rain continues. By noon the tarps are gone and areas that should have roofs have roofs and those areas painted to make them look like rocket ships or whatever are painted. The work is drawing to a close, there are still a couple of hundred workers with their name tags around admiring their work and picking up various tools and ladders. There are still 15-20 people finishing up the last few parts, like hanging the tires suspended by cables for Kids to swing on. The work is essentially done.

If you want to see the pictures in full size use the html address, "members.tripod.com/~cac3/Kid/kid7.jpg" or "members.tripod.com/~cac3/Kid/kid2.jpg" the pictures go from Kid1.jpg to Kid32.jpg. Here are some of the pictures:

  The main entry near completion...day 4.

Notice the covered wagon ... no cover yet.

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