Sunday, December 27, 2015

Nothing can overpower community effort

Ron and Stephanie Martin of Yuma, AZ, wanted to honor a friend who loved the outdoors, so they donated $100,000 to fund a creative playground. Land was acquired in 2005, and 5,000 school children gave design suggestions. The Yuma community donated another $450,000, and in 2007, 8,000 volunteers built the park, shown below, in ten days.

It features a castle, dragon slide, climbing wall, airplanes, a giant spider web and a tree house tower. Kids loved it until Christmas, 2014, when an arsonist set fire to the park. It was a total loss, but within a week after the fire local residents raised $70,000 to rebuild it. Then the City of Yuma learned insurance would fully cover the loss, and the insurance settlement included labor. Using the $70,000 to add new features enjoyed by both abled and disabled kids, the park rose from the ashes, better than before. Construction began last September, and on Dec. 19, 2015, it reopened, proving that nothing is stronger than community effort.

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